A life-changing semester March 20, 2017

By (Susquehanna University) - abroad from 08/31/2016 to 12/15/2016 with

Global Semesters: Florence - Semester in Florence

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained independence as well as the respect and appreciation for many other cultures.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

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?

My apartment was very central in Florence and I felt safe with the people living around me.

* Food:

There was access to grocery stores in walking distance as well as markets with fresh groceries.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I felt very safe in Florence, during the day and at night. I was comfortable walking around and talking to locals and never questioned my safety.

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

I loved Florence, Italy - it is a small, historic and beautiful city. The culture is wonderful and you can never get tired of the food.

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)

I was definitely able to live in Florence on a budget, it was not too expensive. My budget was mostly stretched on traveling.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? I would say about $100 a week, depending on if I went out to eat or traveling.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Plan ahead on traveling so you can save money on flights and hotels. Budget how much you can spend on food or activities for each week so you know when you can splurge and go out to dinner or spend money on a fun activity without wasting money.

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 was taught the basics of Italian in my class, especially phrases I would need to be respectful and communicate in restaurants and stores.

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? I had not taken Italian before.
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? Know the basics before you go, especially how to ask for help. Know simple words that you use often, words for signs that you may see for public transportation, and how to be polite to the locals.

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
  • International Students
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 class schedule
  • The food
  • The city
* What could be improved?
  • The apartment selection - I had 6 people in a small apartment
  • Selecting classes
  • Program trips could be added
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Make sure to appreciate the place you are living. I wanted to travel a lot, but some weekends I was happy to just explore Florence. I wish that had taken more time in Florence and other places in Italy to really absorb the culture.

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.