Can I Go Back Yet? Past Review

By (Nursing., University of Central Arkansas) - abroad from 05/19/2012 to 06/23/2012 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 am so lucky to have stumbled upon this program. I was on this very site a year ago and picked API from one of these reviews, and I am so thankful that I did. It was such a life changing experience. All I knew was that I wanted to study abroad, but I had no idea what the difference between the various programs were. Thankfully, I was sold by one of the API reviews, and that is what I am hoping to do now--convince you to choose API. I can't imagine having a more worthwhile experience than I had with API. It was the perfect amount of supervision with the staff and freedom with my peers. I had so much fun taking in the culture and history that I could while still feeling safe and secure. My apartment in Florence was literally five steps away from The David. I'm actually half-wishing I wasn't writing this review right now because it's making me upset that I can't go back. Studying abroad is best and worst thing you can possibly do. It's a life changing experience: once you're home all you want to do it go back. I encourage you to Study Abroad and guarantee that you can't go wrong with API!

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

Personal Information

If you took classes at multiple universities, list those universities here: Oil Painting at Lorenzo de'Medici Italian International University
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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The apartments are AMAZING! Talk about the complete italian experience. I was prepared to be living in a tiny one-room apartment with six other girls, but they are very spacious with many rooms, a living room, fully equipped kitchen, and two bathrooms! We had absolutely no problems. We were also in a building with other italian neighbors which really helped assimilate you to the environment. The ONLY thing is that if you are there in the summer, it gets HOT!! I mean, we were literally melting during a couple nights. So I would highly recommend bringing something to help you cool down (a wet towel and water bottle for me did not suffice). I know some had air conditioning, but our particular unit did not.

* Food:

Is there any explanation needed? The food is AMAZING? Gusta Pizza is a must. So is the very first gelato shop you come to when you cross the Ponte Vecchio (GET PINEAPPLE GELATO--it is the best here!)

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt very well integrated! Almost too integrated because everyone spoke English! I didn't really get to learn much Italian because every time I would try to speak it they would look at me like "Oh, silly American, here, I will speak English for you!". You will soon notice that there are a LOT of tourists in Florence.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I did not have any issues, but I know that API was very well equipped and at our service. We were all covered with insurance through API.

* Safety:

I felt very safe in Florence. There were a couple of times when my roommates would leave our doors unlocked at the apartment, but nothing was ever stolen. I DO know a couple of students that were with us who were pickpocketed as we were out at night, so I would just recommend having a side purse that you can always have your eye on, or just keep your money in a front pocket where no one can reach it. Never bring ALL of your money or credit cards with you. It does get a little creepy at night, as some italians do tend to whistle at you and/or walk behind you. I always stayed with at least one other person. If you just ignore them they usually give up, and nothing ever happened beyond that. Besides a couple of whistles at night, there was nothing else that caused me to feel unsafe!

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 150-200
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I brought meal bars from home and I ate those for breakfast. The euro store is a lifesaver for snacks! WALK. Don't waste money on cabs!


* 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 was optional to take the foreign language class.

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

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

  • Americans
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?
  • Excusions (Padova, Venice, Verona, Rome, Cinque Terre))
  • Freedom
  • Group Cooking Class!
* What could be improved?
  • Fans in the Apartments!
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That it gets really hot in the summer. I would have brought a mechanical fan to keep me cool. I know I keep bringing this up, but this is literally the only complaint that I can come up with. There is nothing wrong.

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!

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Foundation Oil Painting

Course Department: Art
Instructor: Justin Thompson
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Worked on paintings in class and we got to listen to music as we did it, it was very relaxed, and the professor was very helpful! We could also come in and work on everything on our own time. Our final was a paper that was due at the end of the four weeks. Very laid back and easy. I LOVED it!
Credit Transfer Issues: No