The most incredible, indescribable, best time of my entire life. Past Review

By (Architecture., Marywood University) - abroad from 08/25/2014 to 12/13/2014 with

International Studies Institute / ISI Florence

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned how to live on my own, about other countries and cultures. Everything I did and saw was an incredible experience that I will have for my entire life. Traveling through Italy and then Europe was the most amazing time I could ever imagine. I cant wait to be back in Europe to spend more time an learn more.

Review Photos

International Studies Institute / ISI Florence Photo International Studies Institute / ISI Florence Photo International Studies Institute / ISI Florence Photo International Studies Institute / ISI Florence Photo International Studies Institute / ISI Florence Photo

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.

I learned a lot from my 'Art in Florence' class and 'Villa and the Gardens'. They were extremely informative. I really enjoyed my Studio course, however I did not learn much new information.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Everyone at ISI was very helpful and resourceful. They helped us with everything from classes, finding our way around the city, helping us plan our fall breaks. Everything. They were all very nice.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

There were some issues with our apartment. We had a lot of things broken when we moved in and many things broke right after getting there, but just from being used. The toilets broke repeatedly, as well as the showers. We emailed housing at ISI a few times and eventually emailed the Director of ISI. Eventually our landlords were contacted and they came over a few times to fix everything from our list. once it was all fixed, our apartment was great.

* Food:

The food was great. Every restaurant we went to was incredible. I loved Anticcos sandwich place right by the Uffizi.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I feel like we eventually fit in with the culture. But they didn't think we did. They still knew we were american tourists, even though we didn't stand out as much in December as we did in August. We made friends with some locals over the time in Italy, and we got to experience parts of Florence with them.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I don't know if Ebloa was a serious threat in Italy as it was in USA, but we weren't informed at all about it. But when my friend needed to go to the doctors in Italy, it was very easy and they were nice and helpful.

* Safety:

I think if you're aware of your surroundings, you will be fine. but, one night I was at a club and I got pickpocketed and my phone was stolen. That same night, my friend got mugged in front of his apartment. He got everything stolen from him, and was beat up pretty badly. Other than that, I felt very safe.

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)

I spent much more than I exected on food each week. I didnt go out to eat often, but paying for food got expensive.

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Pay attention to the currency exchange in the different countries you visit, The pound in the UK is a lot different than the Euro.


* 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

In my Italian class, we were encouraged, but not in all our classes.

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? 4 years of Spanish and 1 year of Italian
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? Repeat it over and over. Use it as much as possible in day to day life.

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

* Did you study abroad through an exchange program or did you directly enroll in the foreign university? Direct Enrollment

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?
  • the People
  • the City
  • the Traveling
* What could be improved?
  • communication about dues
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That class dues were not included before hand in tuition.

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.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Villa and the Gardens

Course Department: Architecture
Instructor: Silvia Catitti
Instruction Language: English
Comments: It was challenging and fun. I really enjoyed this class. Silvia is an excellent teacher. She knows how to explain things properly and completely. She kept the class interesting and the field trips were always extremely interesting. I would love to take another class like this.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Introduction to Florence

Course Department: Language
Instructor: Catia
Instruction Language: Italian
Comments: It was a very well rounded class. We learned a good amount of vocab, sentence structure, and phrases. I felt like I learned enough to actually have a conversation in stead of just a bunch of random words. Catia was very nice and helpful. I really enjoyed her class.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Course Department:
Instruction Language: Art of Florence
Comments: This class was very interesting too. I loved going around to all the museums and seeing all the art in real life. Francessca was extremely knowledgeable. Not just about our art class, but she answered general questions about Firenze and Italy and the culture in general. She helped us get used to the city and the people.
Credit Transfer Issues: