Amore January 11, 2020

By (University of Tennessee - Martin) - abroad from 09/12/2019 to 12/09/2019 with

Learning Italy by Dante Alighieri: Fall Abroad Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
More life lessons about people- living with mixed personalities, understanding people from different backgrounds and social characteristics, and just all those small life skills that can be slightly different in a foreign country such as braving the packed grocery stores.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

While the courses were not particularly intense, a good thing, they more than made up for it with course content relevancy, interest levels, and passion.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Administer demonstrated passion and interest for the subject, but required over 5 times the average written content for upper division classes of similar subject, and required a very heavy reading load. Together, these two aspects of the class greatly hindered students' ability to travel independently or even get as full an experience of Italy that someone without huge loads of homework could get.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The classes given at the school did an incredible job of demonstrating the historical and current culture of Siena and Italy, however because all of us UT Martin students were the only ones in our classes, we did not really get the opportunity to meet other students, Italian or otherwise. This was also hindered by the heavy requirements of the writing class administered from home university.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

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

I cannot properly express the love I have for all of my experiences, and I owe a lot of them to the lovely professors.


* 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? around $100
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Use the grocery stores, exercise home cooking and avoid pre-prepared meals at the store as well. Eating at restaurants can be more expensive than at home but as long as you don't go crazy, it is more than worth it- I never regretted one restaurant outing.


* 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? none
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 would like to say make friends who are fluent in Italian and English, but through my experience that's difficult to do. Try as often as you can with store workers and waiters, no matter how small the phrase is. Even if it's just one wore, it will build and build and benefit you much more than you would think. Effort effort effort! You only get three months so make every moment count!

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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • location
  • professors
  • everything
* What could be improved?
  • integration with other students
  • n/a
  • n/a
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Little efforts with Italian in every opportunity possible, even when it seems inconsequential, really helps you retain and learn.

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.'