The taking off of the cultural hood Past Review

By (Benedictine College) - abroad from 09/19/2013 to 12/19/2013 with

Benedictine College: Florence - Semester Program in Florence, Italy

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
More than I can dream of articulating and placing in this small box. But to give effort: A confidence that is all the more present in my daily life. An appreciation of and pride for my nation. A comfort with being vulnerable. A desire to seek. A never ending thirst for knowledge and beauty. Some sweet observational skills A love for Christ that grows more and more every day.

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.

Perhaps not as academically "rigorous" as we are used to in a general BC course, but most definitely educational. Education goes beyond classroom and intensity.

* 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?

We stayed to ourselves quite a bit. Yes it can be rather difficult with such a large to group to completely immerse, but it would have been cool if there were opportunities to meet Italian college students.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Just pay attention, and it's all good.

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

Because it's legit. Yes, while students can waste their time abroad, and plenty of them do, time in a foreign land is so important for personal development. And time in a land that shaped western civilization? Priceless.


* 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? 50€... Maybe.


* 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? Beginner
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? AP 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? Just go for it. If you allow the fear of "sounding stupid" keep you from at least attempting to communicate in Italian, good luck ever learning a language.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* 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?
  • The Art
  • The People
  • The Visual Faith
* What could be improved?
  • Mix us in with people we don't already know so well.
  • Security. There was 500€ stolen from the students during my semester. To this day we have no clue who did it.
  • Food. Don't try to accommodate the American tongue... No matter how much the students complain.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Art. Everybody ought to review art history so they can share in the joy of understanding why the pieces that we encounter are so important.

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 Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.