Best semester of my life May 18, 2022

By (Psychology, University of Hartford) - abroad from 02/15/2022 to 05/13/2022 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?
uhhh....yes it was worthwhile. Of course it was! I learned soooo much about myself. More than can be put it into words. I come home a new person and a person that is capable of so much more. There are things I did at the end of the program that I would not have been able to do upon first going.

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

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

API was great. They were super helpful throughout the whole process. Before going it was a bit tricky to get in contact with them but once you get there they are so accessible. I would go to a different city just to see a new place but API was awesome.


* 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? on average, I made a budget of $350 a week which was $50 a day which was ok some weeks I went a bit over and sometimes I was under.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? GET A JOB! The two months before i left for Italy I was working 6 days a week for 2 months. I made about 6000 dollars in those two months which I was very lucky for. Once coming abroad I tried to budget 350 per week in the final months i got a bit more lenient. However it really depends what you care to spend money on. For food there were some days I would get a kebab and panini and would spend 9 euros on the day. Other days we would go out to eat and it would be like 20 bucks to go out for meal. $50 per day is a manageable daily budget because there will be days that you dont spend that much and somedays you spend more. If you do not drinkn alcohol then you will save sooooo much money as that adds up very quickly as people tend to go out pretty much every night so keep that in mind. As well, money for traveling you will need. There are some hacks, you can fly with budget airlines and you can also fly out of airports with cheaper flights.


* 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? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? spanish in high school
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? talking to locals

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

  • Other
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?
  • the people
  • the city
  • life
* What could be improved?
  • more weekday excursion like the soccer game we did
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Thats a tough question. Probably just which countries I wanted to travel to and then maybe some other cool spots in Florence.

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'