Learning More than Italian Past Review

By (Benedictine College) - abroad from 08/17/2016 to 11/10/2016 with

Benedictine College: Florence - Semester Program in Florence, Italy

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My experience abroad was a totally worthwhile experience. I learned so much while studying abroad and not just about Italian language, culture, history and philosophy. I learned so much about the world and my place in it. I learned more about myself in the three months I was abroad than I have in the 21 years I have been alive. When I boarded the plane to go to Italy, I was a scared and uncertain girl. I didnt know where I wanted to go in my life. I was afraid and anxious of everything the future held and my abilities to cope with the unknown. When my time abroad was coming to a close and I boarded my final plane back to the United States, I was confident, I had direction in my life, I was no longer fearful and I had a whole slew of new and amazing experiences!

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Overall, the living arrangements were great. There were some adjustments due to the differences between American and Italian lifestyles.

* Food:

The food was abundant and well prepared. The staff was also extremely receptive to any suggestions/requests.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Living in such close proximity to the city and the chance to interact with natives was a great privilege. I had instances while traveling and experiencing the city to interact with the Italian people and culture and taking advantage of these was easier because of the support from the staff, classes and professors.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

No specific problems

* 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)

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Be flexible with weekend trips, some flexibility and being open to changing plans will allow you to save money. Also, have a plan or some ideas of what you want you want to do and see.


* 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
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Intermediate
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Try to use it when interacting with the native people. While they may speak your native language, try not to use it and opt for the language you are learning.

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?
  • Staff at villa
  • Course material
  • Ability to interact with people unlike myself
* What could be improved?
  • Better "re-immersion" on return home
  • More help on weekend trip planning
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Be open, some of the best and most life changing things can happen when you least expect them.