Europe: I didn't like what I thought I would like but LOVED what I thought I would hate! Past Review

By (Mass Communication & General Fine Arts, Towson University) for

AIFS: Travel Program – European Art and Architecture

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Yes! I learned so much about myself and what I like (and don't like). It is really interesting to see how so many different cultures live as well. I would not do this same program again because I did not like everywhere we traveled to. At the same time, I'm so happy I got to see those places and I would definitely go back to many of the countries we visited.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I enjoyed the assignments. I thought they were really good and I liked that the teacher was lenient with what our essays were about. He wanted originality rather than just black and white information. I also really enjoyed the teacher's input on the some of the pieces we saw in the museum. He challenged us to create our opinion about art.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The only aspect I did not like about my study abroad program is that we traveled for hours during the day. I thought this was a complete waist of a day and would have rather traveled overnight on trains or buses. Also, I thought the program size was a little too big for all the traveling we did. It would be much less stressful with 15 less people.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

Go to local supermarkets and stock up on food, water and snacks. Bring a water bottle to refill because even bottled water got so expensive in some places!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

My teacher was always open about going to dinner with the students or giving up tips on good local areas. We would always go to lunch with him or he would tour the cities with us. I really enjoyed our little stops on the bus. For example Siena, Italy and Bruges, Belgium.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I never got sick, but one kid got flu-like symptoms and they got him treated immediately. Our supervisor lady looked after him everyday until he was better! We did not need any vaccines to go to the country.

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? Too much!! Probably around 200 euros.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Pubic transportation in London. We were expected to write papers and do research, but were barely provided free internet access.


How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Hotel
* Who did you live with?

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  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

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  • Americans

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Budget your money ahead of time and keep to that daily budget! Roll your clothes in your takes up less room. Bring all toiletries that you will need, normal things like shampoo were much more expensive in Europe.