The best experience of my life. Past Review

By (Benedictine College) - abroad from 09/03/2014 to 11/17/2014 with

Benedictine College: Florence - Semester Program in Florence, Italy

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot about how to live life, my faith, a lot about myself and my friendships. So many things that I never knew I could learn. It was one of the most worthwhile things I've ever done in my life and I wouldn't give it up.

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? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

What I liked most about the academic experience that I had in Italy is that it wasn't focused on the letter grade. The teaches focused more on embracing the life experiences and immersing us into the culture. We get enough of the focus letter grades back in the states, and this may be the one and only time a student gets a chance to live in a completely new place. I am often asked if I learned a lot while studying abroad, and to tell the truth I learned more than I ever have about myself, about life, and about my faith. I didn't learn all this from sitting in long lectures, or from late nights reading text books. I learned all this from the people I encountered, from those I traveled with, from experiencing and immersing myself into new and beautiful cultures, and from my professors, friends, and priests at the villa who all encouraged this kind of learning.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I really looked up to and appreciated our administration in Florence

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The food was a little rough at times, but I absolutely loved living in the villa. It is in a beautiful spot just up in the foothills far enough away from the city to experience the authentic Italian life, but close enough to explore the beauty of the city just a short bus ride away.

* Food:

It started off good, then it got pretty bad for a little and one of our program directors talked to the staff and it got better again.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt like the program directors and teachers had a lot to do with how well integrated we were. Because they taught their lessons in ways that allowed us to go out and explore and be integrated into the culture. Also the fact that we living in a tiny Italian town outside the city helped a lot! I loved it!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

besides the stomach flu I didn't have a problem with this.

* Safety:

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

I absolutely loved the location, being in Italy allowed me to travel to many other countries that were not too far away. Also it gave me the opportunity to really explore Italy and I took full advantage of that. I loved the Florence program and it will always be one of my homes.


* 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 wasn't too hard, I saved my money more for the trips and traveling instead of buying a lot of material things

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? around 100 euro probably
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? When you travel pack food or buy from a cheap grocery store, but also don't forget to experience the food and drink of the places you travel to so buy at least one good authentic meal every place you go. Pick and choose between memories from a trip or material things that you buy. Although you do want to have a few souveniers to bring home, you don't need a ton tho.


* 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? Spanish 3 in high school
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? Honestly the best way for me, was to go out and use the language, don't try to use English, even if you struggle use Italian. Also speaking with locals, it may be hard but do your best. Practice with your peers and friends in the villa. But by far the best way to learn is through traveling with it and talking to the Italians.

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?
  • The people, the Italians, the host administration, the students and administration that came along with me from BC
  • How it helped me to grow deeper in my faith
  • The location
* What could be improved?
  • the food
  • dealing with the buses were difficult sometimes but not much you can do about that
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Remember to always be spontaneous, fully embrace the opportunity to be abroad, don't sit on computers or phones, take every chance you can to experience something new and beautiful.

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.