BEST 3 WEEKS EVER February 27, 2019

By (University of Delaware) - abroad from 07/20/2019 to 08/03/2019 with

CISabroad (Center for International Studies): Florence - Summer in Florence

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a little bit of everything. I learned a ton about an incredible culture and country, and more importantly I learned a lot about myself.

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 classes were through Florence University of the Arts. I loved the exposure to a local university and the education quality was incredible. I felt like I was really immersed into what education in Florence is like.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

We had two on site leaders. They helped us SO much and were there for us with any questions we had and had advice for any place we wanted to go to. They also guided us around on things like Gelato tours and other events that CIS had organized for us.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Our housing situation was a little unlucky. All of the other people I was on the trip with had great housing, however ours was the first time they ever used that apartment and it had a few issues and I don't think they will be using that apartment again.

* Food:

The food was the best food I've ever has in my entire life. I wish I could eat like that every day! Everything was reasonably priced and just absolutely incredible.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt like I really was integrated into the culture as soon as I got there. We all walked to class on our own, had our own schedules, and we basically got to really do things and explore on our own terms which really does help to immerse yourself into the culture. Our on site leaders helped IMMENSELY because they were able to guide us to more local food places and shops and avoid more touristy attractions.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

CIS provided us with an on site doctor and included health care. I never had any health issues while I was there, but if I did I would've easily had a doctor to go to through CIS who spoke english.

* Safety:

I never really felt unsafe at any point while I was in Florence. We all traveled around in a group and never stayed out too late. I felt very comfortable and didn't really have any issues. The only issue to be careful of is petty theft and pickpocketing.

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

I just had the best experience of my life. Everything I needed was included in the program, I felt so completely prepared, and the people I met along the way were amazing. I wish I did a semester I loved it so much.

Finances

* 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)

To be honest, it was more affordable than I thought. Breakfast I would probably pay 3 Euros for an espresso and croissant, 5 euros for a panini for lunch, and maybe 12-20 euros for dinner if we went out. It's affordable to buy food at the market and eat in, however we ate out a lot because the food was so good.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? probably $100 a week.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I would say don't spend a ton of money on souvenirs, and to eat a big breakfast that's a little later to hold you over until dinner (haha). I also bring out a certain amount of cash that I allow myself for the week and then avoid using my card which helps me budget better.

Language

* 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 took an Italian class while I was there, so I felt like I used the language more than most people.

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? I hadn't! I took a course while I was there though.
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? I loved the app duolingo! It helps a lot. Also, ordering food in the language and practicing the basics (please, thank you, excuse me) really helps you to feel more comfortable using the language and encourages progression.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* 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?
  • Immersion
  • Education
  • Experience
* What could be improved?
  • Housing (at times)
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I feel that CIS actually really prepared me for everything and there wasn't much that they didn't tell me before that I wish they did.

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.