Kent State University Florence has tought me a new way to learn. Past Review

By (Architecture., Kent State University) for

Kent State University Florence

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Yes I've grown as an individual and I can't say I'd be the same person without doing it. I definitely want to travel more and experience as much as I can.

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.

I'm currently a student with Kent State University's study abroad program in the heart of Florence, Italy. Currently I've been here for about 2 months and I have to say that this experience is great! Since this is my first time being out of the United States, I was a little anxious to make such a big decision. Once I got here I've felt so welcomed by the faculty as well as the community and it has really opened me up as a person to a different style of living and a new appreciation for being able to study abroad. Every day I walk passed historical monuments and live on my own while in Italy. The school provides apartments for the students and I find this a great way to force us to interact with the commoners by buying our own groceries or asking for directions (which happens a lot because you tend to get lost wherever you go the first week or so you're here). This helps a lot with confidence and social skills too. The faculty is on a different level that I'm grateful to have. They are around almost all the time, all speak English, and they're all willing to help you with any questions you may have (like asking for certain medicines at the pharmacy to figuring out where to buy a good pair of shoes). I've felt more than welcome at the school and it makes the experience a lot more comfortable and easy to get into. I would recommend it to anyone who is thinking about possibly studying abroad. I was very skeptical to this phrase and I know this sounds cliche, but it's truly a priceless experience. I can really appreciate that now and I'm blessed to be the first person in my immediate family to be here.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

They made it really easy back at the main campus to enroll in the program. They are present at the Study Abroad Fair the University holds every year, and there you can sign up to get emails. From there you can go to meetings and get additional information on travel, costs etc. They then give you a packet that walks you through the steps you need to take to apply for a Passport and Student Visa and other paperwork. They also have a travel agent who plans out your flights for you (but you also have an option of flying on your own which is usually cheaper). The program is a good size and I don't think we have more than 100 or so students here. The first week you arrive you have orientation and the faculty teaches you the basics to living in Florence. My expectations have been met and beyond. The program is very well organized.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

You live with other Kent State students and you live in apartments that are fully furnished. Nice set up.

* Food:

The food here is really good, but if you eat out it can get kind of expensive. Instead my roommates and I go to the local market and buy fresh food once a week and we cook a lot of fun recipes.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

A lot of festivals/ carnivals happen in the springtime. There are also a lot of good sales that happen in January. The bars and clubs are fun, but can get expensive if you go out often. A good cheap thing to do is to take a walk along the river and have a pic-nic. The program sends you emails multiple times a week of different events that are happening in Florence. It helps a lot when you can't find something to do for a weekend.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

The school provides a mandatory health insurance plan which a lot of people use. People tend to get sick pretty easily with a lot of traveling so the health insurance comes in handy. They also have a police officer come in and talk about ways to be safe around town. One example is to cover up your hand while typing in your PIN number at the ATM because thieves have been known to insert hidden cameras and steal your identification.

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)


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
Language acquisition improvement?

The program provides multiple language courses from elementary Italian to moderate Italian. Every day I find myself using it in stores, asking for directions or ordering food.

If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Some words of wisdom I'd give students who are considering the program are, if you're interested, go to the meetings and start applying for scholarships. A lot of people choose not to because of money issues, and I understand there are certain circumstances, but if you apply for a ton of scholarships you may be able to afford it and it really pays itself off in the end.