ALIVE Past Review

By (Benedictine College) - abroad from 08/25/2010 to 12/23/2016 with

Benedictine College: Florence - Semester Program in Florence, Italy

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
From midnight gelato runs, missed busses, TONS of steps, sleeping in airports, slurping spectacular spaghetti, getting lost, laughter in 8 different countries, breathtaking sights, experiencing true faith, life long adventures, and memories that will 'CLICK' in my mind forever. I wouldn't change a thing.

Review Photos

Benedictine College: Florence - Semester Program in Florence, Italy Photo Benedictine College: Florence - Semester Program in Florence, Italy Photo Benedictine College: Florence - Semester Program in Florence, Italy Photo Benedictine College: Florence - Semester Program in Florence, Italy Photo Benedictine College: Florence - Semester Program in Florence, Italy Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Honestly, the academic side of this experience wasn't incredibly challenging but, I feel like that shouldn't be the focus of a students semester abroad. I felt like the program did a great job balancing the understanding of the need for 'in class study' and experiential learning. I wouldn't have wanted it any other way! :))

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I absolutely love Jennifer Berry. She was and still is one of the most hospitable people I have ever met. My experience wouldn't have been the same without the 'mini adventures' she took us on!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?


* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

More scheduled day trips would be cool!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

There is a pharmacy just blocks from the housing in Settignano. I remember going there with a cold and getting what I needed.

* Safety:

I never felt unsafe in Settignano!

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

This experience changed my life in such a positive way, I can't begin to express my gratitude. I owe this program for greater self reliance, knowledge of other cultures and customs, and (as an added bonus) making me a more hirable candidate in my pursuit for an educational career.


* 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)

You can do as much or as little as you need. If you don't have the fund to travel, there is tons to do with as cheap as a bus pass.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? I traveled A LOT so, I spent at least $50.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Check out Ryan Air for cheap flights. We ended up flying to Germany and back (right after Octoberfest) for 9 euro round trip!


* 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
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? Go out and talk to people (even if you might feel silly)! I didn't do that enough.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Hotel
* 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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Jennifer Berry
  • Trip to Cinque Terra (organized by program)
  • Our amazing art class!
* What could be improved?
  • More day trips organized by program
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Pack good shoes, you will be walking constantly! :))

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.'