Adventures, Friends, and Memories to last a lifetime! Past Review

By (Benedictine College) - abroad from 01/19/2014 to 05/01/2014 with

Benedictine College: Florence - Semester Program in Florence, Italy

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned about a new culture, its contributions to the rest of the world, how to travel efficiently and intelligently, how to adapt to new places, and to not be afraid of new adventures.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

While our curriculum was not extremely rigorous, it was slightly challenging trying to focus and absorb all of the information we were learning in between our day trips and weekend travels. However, learning Italian and being able to apply it every day in downtown Florence was extremely beneficial.

* 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:

Overall, I felt very safe in Settignano and Florence. There were only a few times when I felt uncomfortable walking on a certain street or in a certain area. However, whenever I felt this, I just used common sense and went to an area that was more populated or had policeman standing nearby. Also, our RD's and RA's were always available when we needed to contact them for help.

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

I had such a wonderful time studying abroad in Italy. I made new friends, memories and trips which I will never forget and will be forever thankful for. Studying abroad was one of the best experiences of my life!


* 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)

It was tough adapting to the use of a different currency and understanding how it affected our American budgets. However, I think this was very important for all of us to learn. It was hard to budget food, souvenirs, trips etc. but this is an essential part of growing up. I had to budget quite a bit throughout the trip, and spend less on souvenirs so that I could spend more on traveling to other cities, regions or countries.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $50-$150
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Don't spend a ton of money on souvenirs in your first weeks in Florence. You will have more time to look around the shops and explore neighboring towns. Save money for the weekend trips you will be making and keep the souvenirs from Florence in mind so that you can decide which you really want to bring home once the program ends.


* 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? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? High School French II
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? Try to converse with the merchants/ people you meet in Florence in Italian. The more you use it and apply it to your daily experiences, the more quickly you will learn and the more you will remember when you go back home. Then you can impress everyone at home with your new Italian skills! :)

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
  • Hotel
  • Hostel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
* 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?
  • The Food
  • The People & Culture
  • Ability to travel to nearby countries with relative ease
* What could be improved?
  • I wish we could have spent more time in Assisi, Siena and Norcia
  • I wish the tours of churches were spread out just a little bit more because many of them blurred together.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I brought better shoes and boots because they were quickly worn with all of the walking we did.

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 Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:


Course Department: Language
Instructor: Daniel & Angelo
Instruction Language: Italian/English
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Florentine Philosophy

Course Department: Philosophy
Instructor: Crifasi
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Philosophy was a challenging class for me. However, I feel that the class was extremely helpful when learning about the Medici's and the significant role they played in culture and art in Florence during the Italian Renaissance.
Credit Transfer Issues: