A semester I will never forget March 23, 2020

By (University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa) - abroad from 08/26/2019 to 12/14/2019 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?
I learned a lot about myself. I became more adventurous, confident, relaxed. It was very worthwhile, and I like the person I have become because of it.

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.

The classes were a good amount of challenging. I didn't feel that it was very homework heavy because you did a lot of the work in class. Plus, I took many actual academic courses (Marketing, Finance, etc). The professors were easily accessible and there were many libraries to do work if need be.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Our on-site staff were remarkable! Very helpful and welcoming, and they truly were in our best interest.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My apartment was extremely spacious and in a great location. We had a grocery store right down the street and a local market. My roommates were great. I miss hanging out with them in our big kitchen!

* Food:

It is Italy. Best place to study for food. All ingredients are so fresh. The strawberries from the market were my absolute favorite. Not to mention there are restaurants every other storefront. Food 10/10.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt extremely integrated. API and LDM offer so many programs and activities to help with this. Definitely take advantage of that.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

N/A

* Safety:

I felt really safe here. Sometimes I would even walk back to my apartment alone after hanging out with friends at night, and I didn't feel unsafe ever. As always be aware of your surroundings, but I didn't have any problems. Everywhere is pretty well-lit and people are usually out because there is good night life there as well!

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

Everything about API was fantastic. I could not imagine any other program.

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)

Very easy and minimal cost!

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? If I was traveling probably more, but probably around 50-150 more or less.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Definitely make a budget. It helps.

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
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? Intermediate Spanish
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? DuoLingo!

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
  • 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?
  • My apartment
  • The excursions/ Activities
  • The program directors
* What could be improved?
  • Nothing!
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Nothing! I felt very well prepared.

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 Networker
An active student leader, it was important for you to network abroad as well. Once overseas, you sought out student clubs, volunteered with local organizations, or attended community events. You encouraged your friends join you, and often considered how you could reflect your international experiences in a resume.