Study Abroad? October 09, 2019

By (Springfield College) - abroad from 06/28/2019 to 05/17/2019 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?
This experience was so worthwhile. I was able to learn to travel and navigate buses, trains, and planes. I learned to think outside the box and get comfortable with the uncomfortable.

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.

Out of my four classes I only liked one. My professor for Italian was terrible and I struggled a lot with the language. My art professor thought that we were all going to be picasso. That class caused me so much stress and I actually cried in several museums around Florence because of the negative critic I recieved from her.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

We didn't have a microwave, or a toaster. Other apartments did. Our stove would also stop working if someone was running the washer since it was electric. So my housing was a nightmare. My roommates were awful and just so mean. They would eat my food, and I was actually not permited to use one of the bathrooms in our apartment. It was strickly for them, and ofcourse it was the nicer one too.

* Food:

Food in Florence was great.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I did not feel integrated with the local culture. Everyone spoke English and even my Italian class failed to communicate in Italian. I wish I had the opportunity to meet locals or live with a host family. I really felt a disconnect with the locals.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

No experience with this category. We did however recieve resources for in case of emergency.

* Safety:

Felt pretty safe, you've just got to be smart.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No

I wish I had chosen a program where I had been able to get integrated with the city and gotten to know local people and learn the language.

Finances

* 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)

Pretty hard, I was lucky I had saved up. I spent tons on groceries every week becuase I didn't want to eat out all of the time, so I felt like I wasn't getting to try tons of Florentine food. I also wanted to travel but Florence is kind of expensive to travel out of by air, and trains can be tricky based on the connections. I tried to save my money and really pick and choose. I did ok, but it was definitly something I stressed about and was conscious of.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 400
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? SAVE UP!

Language

* 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

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? None
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? none
How many hours per day did you use the language? 0
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Duolingo maybe, honestly don't bank on LdM teaching you anything.

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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Travel
  • Food
* What could be improved?
  • Classes
  • LdM policies
  • Professors friendliness
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That Florence is a US study abroad hot spot and that you'll only meet Americans while you are there.

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 Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.