A Life Changing, Horizon Broadening Semester. Past Review

By (International Economics, Georgia State University) - abroad from 01/26/2014 to 05/17/2014 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?
A new world perspective, cultural awareness and sensitivity, appreciation for art, thankfulness of being an American, that they way my culture operates is not always the best way, how to travel smart, the Italian language. 10000% worthwhile!

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

LdM's Super Intensive Italian Program was so beneficial for me! I learned so much about the Italian language. I started my semester in Elementary 1 and finished at Intermediate 2. I was able to have full blown conversations during the second month!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The staff members of LdM are very kind and always willing to help!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in a 16th century apartment in Santa Croce. Absolutely beautiful! It was perfect.

* Food:

I wish there were 100 stars.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Florence is such an awesome place. There are always fun, unique events happening. This is a perfect host town for study abroad students.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I had no problems at all, but it's always wise to be alert when away from home!

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)

It was not terribly expensive, but it was not cheap.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 100-120 Euro
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Don't go binge drinking... you'll save your money. Try not to buy, buy, buy as soon as you get to your host city. Always try to haggle prices down because its obvious you are (considered) a tourist.


* 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

I took only Italian courses my semester abroad. All other students took only the basic course.

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? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? none
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? Rosetta Stone, Music, Movies, Books, College Classes, Tandem Partners!

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? 10+

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • People, food, culture
  • Speaking Italian
  • Exploring the unknown
* What could be improved?
  • Drunk Americans
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That I should have bought different clothes. I should have packed less winter clothes and more summer clothes.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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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.