I Want to Live in Europe November 26, 2019

By (Roger Williams University / RWU) - abroad from 08/27/2019 to 12/14/2019 with

International Studies Institute / ISI Florence

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned that I am able to acclimate to a new place quite easily and that my future education and work life would be greatly enhanced by taking place outside of the United States. Given that I am trying to go to grad school in Norway, I would say that yes it was worthwhile.

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 studio environment was lacking in terms of drawing materials and knives and such. These materials were made to seem to be available to us through the school, but it was quite a hodge-podge of materials. Assignment work was balanced with the amount of time taken to travel. I would also like to note that as an architecture student I felt secluded from other programs and students due to a few factors. One: our classes are, for the most part, grouped together making it difficult to meet new people; two: we all take the same classes; three: our studio times run late and set in place, yet, activities set up by the school are almost always during these times making it impossible to participate. These are times either made public or easy to look up so it would have been nice to see some accommodation for the architecture students as we have no control over our class schedules. I understand that majority rules, however when an entire group of students is excluded 99% of the time, it makes integration and participation difficult.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The ISI staff is welcoming and friendly and I can't wait to see them again.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had no experience with healthcare, however the access to it seemed quite easy

* Safety:

Because Florence is a late-night type of city, the few times I had to walk home alone I had no issues with safety.

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

I would choose the same program, however I would make it a priority to voice my opinions of the situation in real-time.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? About $175
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I used the Digit App to save money before hand and to keep money while abroad. It takes money from your account and saves it in a separate account with no immediate access. This one, allows you to not see the money in a spending account and two, forces money planning because you have to deposit money with a few days of delay.

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

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? Two-years of Spanish
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? Quizlet

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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The staff
  • Location
  • Ease of travel
* What could be improved?
  • Inclusion of architecture students
  • Understanding of scheduling
  • Understanding that this experience is on a time limit for students; they don't have unlimited time to go see and experience everything
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Italian. I don't really regret anything I may not have known because I think this can create expectations and having expectations when traveling is dangerous and can easily create a unpleasant situation.

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 Networker
An active student leader, it was important for you to network abroad as well. Once overseas, you sought out student clubs, volunteered with local organizations, or attended community events. You encouraged your friends join you, and often considered how you could reflect your international experiences in a resume.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Arch 416: Adv Topical Studio: Urban

Course Department: Architecture
Instructor: Carlo Achilli
Instruction Language: English
Comments: The course was no more challenging than that of studios at home, however I found the number of trips required to be excessive and unnecessary. We were left with very few free weekends and those weekends were reserved for time to do a large amount of work expected to be done for the class on Monday or Tuesday. After the third or so trip, the lessons from the trips became redundant and ineffective. I would limit the amount of required trips for future students to 2 or max 3 weekends so as to allow students to discover Italy and Europe on their own and more effectively.
Credit Transfer Issues: