Living in Beauty Past Review

By (Benedictine College) - abroad from 02/01/2014 to 04/15/2014 with

Benedictine College: Florence - Semester Program in Florence, Italy

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
“Never lose the ability to be awed.” These words contain my feeble attempt to sum up the beautiful lesson of the months spent studying abroad in Italy. Both then and even now, I find it difficult to express the depth in the encounter of a larger-than-life sculpture or a Florentine sunset. Throughout those precious weeks, I was hit with moments of great faith—there were moments when God brought me to my knees and to tears and showed me small glimpses of his infinite goodness. I was also hit with moments of culinary bliss—the Italians tricked me into falling in love with coffee, as I so feared they would. The long talks I treasure most were the ones where we struggled to put words to the curious, the different, the unexplainable, the frustrating, and especially the remarkable changes and similarities we found in our surroundings and within ourselves. More than anything, through immersion into the Italian culture, I saw myself grow in confidence, independence, and a true appreciation for the beauty in all created things.

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.

* 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


* 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)


* 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? Intermediate
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Intermediate
How many hours per day did you use the language? 0

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Hotel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • 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?
  • Great professors
  • Beautiful villa
* What could be improved?
  • More interaction with locals
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Academic rigor is light to ensure more time for exploring