Nice scenery, horrible program January 21, 2021

By (Arkansas State University) - abroad from 08/23/2017 to 12/14/2017 with

Accademia dell'Arte: Arezzo - Performing Arts in Tuscany

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

This program was a joke. They disguise it as a professional commedia experience and instead attempt to indoctrinate students with their communist ideologies. The instructors can barely speak English, even though they promote the school for English-speaking students and do not recommend intensive Italian language courses prior to attending the school. The dorms and classrooms are separated from the town of Arezzo by a long walk down a dangerous street, so good luck finding a place to eat on the weekends. Also, Scott McGehee was one of the worst instructors and people I have ever met. He likes to hear himself talk and derides everything in popular culture that doesn't agree with his delicate, boring sensibilities. There are better study abroad experiences for theatre students. Avoid this one at all costs.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $300


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

You had to try to learn Italian on your own throughout the program, since the instructors spoke very poor English with the exception of the American and British instructors. There was absolutely no warning that we would need to speak the language within our program as well as they required.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Beginner
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Italian II
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Yes, try to become fluent in Italian if you absolutely must attend this program. I was only there for four months and they said the program itself was taught in English, but the instructors actually expect you to understand Italian during the courses. I was hoping to learn the language at a leisurely pace while visiting Arezzo; instead, I had to scramble to brush up on my language skills within the courses themselves. You have been warned.

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

* Did you study abroad through an exchange program or did you directly enroll in the foreign university? Direct Enrollment

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • N/A
* What could be improved?
  • Instructors/Instruction
  • Location
  • Overall Program
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I know Accademia dell'Arte instructors are a bunch of conmen who are more focused on political ideology than theatre training. I know when they ask you to "just trust them" at the beginning of the program, it means you shouldn't trust them at all. Good luck with your garbage program.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!