I would do it again in a heartbeat! Past Review

By (University of Maine at Orono) - abroad from 08/21/2011 to 05/19/2012 with

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?
I was opened to many different perspectives on life as well as having my own changed. I got to see and learn so much its hard to just pick out one thing I learned or that one thing that I will carry with me forever because I will carry this whole experience with me for the rest of my life.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The intensity was not difficult but the amount of choices you are given are unbelievable! I learned much more about things that pertain to every day life and learning about others rather than subjects that I will most likely never use.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The host country program administration was amazing! They were so organized, friendly, and clearly loved their job. They were like my host mom's I could not have asked for better administrative help from the host country.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Of course there were things that were different from the US such as the control of heat or that there were no dryers but the houses were in great locations and had the real italian feel that every abroad student longs for.

* Food:

You will never find food like this ever again!! The food is fresh and eye opening. I don't think I have ever gone somewhere where I didn't like the food.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Due to the fact that I went to an english speaking university and lived with Americans I found it difficult to integrate myself into the culture.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had to go to the local physician when I had strep throat, it was an experience. It was easy to get the necessary medicine but it is a good idea to have your symptoms translated correctly and maybe written down just in case there is a misunderstanding.

* Safety:

For the most part I felt just as safe as I did in the US. Going out at night was probably the time in which my friends and I had the biggest issues with pick pocketing.

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)

Going to the open markets for food saves you a lot on money. Its the personal expenses that gets you because traveling is so easy over there and you want to buy everything.

* Was housing included in your program cost? Yes
* Was food included in your program cost? No
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? about 100$
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Don't buy things near tourist attractions (the prices are jacked up) go into an alley and find that hole in the wall that all the locals go to. Open markets are much cheaper than the grocery story.


* 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

It did outside the classroom but during class hours (besides the language class) and a majority of my time I was surrounded by Americans so I wasn't pushed to practice very much.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Elementary II Italian
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? Emerse yourself into the culture. Even if the locals tell you to talk in english because they cannot understand your attempt at their language ask them if you can try again anyways.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* 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?
  • traveling
  • experience
  • food
* What could be improved?
  • Nothing
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I feel that I knew enough when I started and learned quickly nothing I wish I knew before hand.

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 Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.