Best Semester Of Your Life! Past Review

By (Saint Mary's University of Minnesota) - abroad from 08/29/2011 to 12/03/2011 with

CIMBA: Paderno del Grappa - Undergraduate Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned about myself and my leadership abilities. How to work with others of different backgrounds and form relationships.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Overall, good teachers that challenge you in the classroom and expect you in class everyday.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The Administration was very helpful, friendly, wanted to ensure that each student enjoyed the program as much as possible

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Great dorms that come with cleaning services. Makes packing easier. Provided towels and linen.

* Food:

Its cafeteria food so its not the best, but after a while you get used to it. Shouldn't deter whether you choose the program or not

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The Administration and local residents were friendly and wanted to show the Americans the culture of Paderno.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Local nurse on campus that helped me and other students with illness. Student Illness was not a problem while I was there

* Safety:

Safety is a high priority there. It is a boarding school where security only lets permitted individuals in. Very safe town and campus.

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)

This really depends on the student and how responsible he/she is. You can live on a student's budget easily but you have to be strict with your expenditures including not traveling every weekend

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 5 euros on campus. 50 euros off campus
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Monitor the exchange rate before you go while your saving money and monitor the rate while your there. Budget your money for everything you want to do/must do and set that money aside. Use the left over for extra things you want to do


* 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

The program pushed taking the Italian language courses and how much it will be helpful during the duration of the program

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? Junior year of 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? There are many cheap DVD and audio programs you can use prior to departure that are very helpful. That's how I learned.

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 Town
  • The Extracurricular Activities offered
  • Travel Breaks
* What could be improved?
  • More Course Offerings
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew how expensive energy is in Europe and how much the exchange rate affected the amount of money I thought I had.

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.