I Cannot Imagine My Life without Florence or Studying Abroad! Past Review

By (Management, Bryant University) for

API (Academic Programs International): Florence - Lorenzo de’ Medici – The Italian International Institute (LDM)

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Completely worthwhile! It changed my perspective and completely tore down any barriers I had in terms of a "worldly" point of view. I realized I knew almost nothing! I now want to set out and learn as much as I can from the world around me.

Review Photos

API (Academic Programs International): Florence - Lorenzo de’ Medici – The Italian International Institute (LDM) Photo API (Academic Programs International): Florence - Lorenzo de’ Medici – The Italian International Institute (LDM) Photo

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.

there was not as much focus on group work, it was mostly individual assignments, with maybe one project at the end. However, I enjoyed working alone because I was able to do my work when it was best for me and I could dig deeper into subjects that I was interested in without worry about only contributing one specific part to a group project.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I thought the API Office was a wonderful addition to my experience. I could go there with any concerns or questions about the city, booking trips, the train system, etc. They were always willing to answer questions. Generally, they did a wonderful job on weekend excursions, although sometimes I think they wanted to control us a little more than we wanted to be controlled, which is understandable. I would have liked to get to know the API women a little about their lives, but they were always friendly and helpful. The size of API was ideal and you could get to know the other API students, even though it seemed like some people only wanted to get to know API people.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Our landlord, Ann, did a wonderful job of making sure we were taken care of in our apartment. It was fully stocked of cooking utensils and bed sheets. There was also a ton of travel books left over from other residents. The apartment was a little older than others, but it was interesting to hear the history of the apartment from Ann and her family. It felt like we were a little Italian family when we were there.

* Food:

Some of the meals were included when we were on weekend excursions or if there were specific API events. Otherwise, we had to cook on our own, which was okay because we lived right next to the central market and could buy fresh ingredients every day. The restaurants in the city varied from over-priced tourist spots to authentic Italian restaurants. We had some wonderful little places right near our apartment, especially Mario's, which provided the real Florentine cuisine that we wanted.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The weekend excursions planned by API were a great way to see and learn about other places in Italy. I went on every trip they offered. They also had great cultural events all throughout the semester, whether it be wine-tasting or promoting events in the city, such as Notte Bianca.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

You have to be smart to be safe, which is the same story for most any city. There are parts of the city that are safer at night than others, and it becomes obvious to those who do want to cause harm where the American students go to get drunk. API did a great job of pointing out specifically the streets or areas where we would be at most risk. But it is also the responsibility of the student to make sure no one you know goes off alone or goes home alone and that if you don't feel safe, you leave immediately and go to a more populated area. I did not have any health issues, so I cannot comment on the services. I was sick in the beginning, but brought some medication from the US with me.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* 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)


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

Talking with locals, I should have made more of an effort to have a connection to a native tutor to work on language a little bit each week.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Cultural elements that were included
  • Willingness to help (plan trips, etc.)
  • Excursions
* What could be improved?
  • Interaction with other programs
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Become a traveler, not a tourist! Truly try to become a member of the society and you will get the most out of your experience. Travel to places that may not be the most popular (Amsterdam, Paris..etc.) and you will find cultures and people that you will fall in love with! Students who are willing to explore and willing to step out on their own will benefit the most.