The start of my travel addiction. Past Review

By (Benedictine College) - abroad from 01/28/2013 to 04/29/2013 with

Benedictine College: Florence - Semester Program in Florence, Italy

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was worthwhile because it was a stepping stone into travelling the world more and I was able to feel more confident travelling in the future and meeting other people. It was nice to experience it with other American students but I feel like I would have gained more if I was forced to be in the culture more. I learned to be more open with other cultures and formed the desire to learn more about the world.

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.

The academic rigor was not there, which to some degree was nice to focus on the cultural experiences. But I would have liked to be challenged a little bit more.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

It was okay but sometimes frustrating because it wasn't very organized and we didn't know what we were doing sometimes.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I really liked where we lived. We were not in the city center which was hard sometimes because I felt like it was hard to get out of the house. But sometimes it was okay because we were able to experience some of the countryside.

* Food:

Food was good but sometimes not enough variety and I know some students got physically sick from the same foods.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I wish I was integrated more into the culture. I think being far from the city was difficult to integrate myself and I felt stuck with the other American students.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Good, not a problem.

* Safety:

I felt pretty safe. There was only one incident where my friend and I got pick-pocketed but we needed to be more aware.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No

I would not choose the same program because I wish I was engulfed in the culture more.


* 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 euro
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I would have an idea of how many times you want to eat out and what to buy so you don't impulsive buy things. Sometimes when you get caught up in the moment you just spend money without thinking about if you really want to buy it or not.


* 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

I wish we were encouraged more. Maybe if we were forced to speak Italian where we lived too would have helped learn the language more and be more comfortable to speak it.

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? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Nothing. I really wished Benedictine offered a beginning Italian course prior to departure that is required for the program. Then we could advance or language skills more in Italy.
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? SPEAK! All you can do is practice, practice, practice.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Other
* 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?
  • Travel
* What could be improved?
  • Organization
  • Language courses
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I practiced the language more and knew how to find locals to speak the language with like a language exchange website.

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.'