A Life in Another World Past Review

By (Marketing., Bentley University) - abroad from 02/04/2013 to 05/18/2013 with

Lorenzo de' Medici – Florence

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I really learned a lot about myself as well as another culture. It really opened my eyes and look at myself and the US completely differently. I have been given an amazing chance to live in place with so much history and culture.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I learned a lot in my classes and felt that the work was not too difficult nor too easy.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My house was amazing and in a great location. I never felt unsafe. My room was huge and the house was very modern compared to some of my friend's houses.

* Food:

The food was delicious

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I enjoyed my time here, however did not expect so many people speaking English. It was hard to practice the language when the community didn't really speak Italian to me.

* 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


* 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 actually had a very tight budget (about $3,500 for the semester). I didn't get to travel as much but still had an amazing experience. My budget was $50/week and that included dinner on weekends and going out on occasion (but not too often).

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $50
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Save as much as possible. It is possible to enjoy your time just in Florence but I really wish I was able to save up more and travel more.


* 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 in Elementary 2 and Intermediate 1 and my teacher was horrible. I did learn a lot about grammar but never actually spoke Italian in class. My host mom even told me my Italian was terrible after 3 months. I was extremely disappointed in the teacher. She expected too much out of us and was very impatient. We would tell her we didn't understand and she just didn't really acknowledge what we had problems with. She seemed too concerned about sticking with the lesson than helping us learn. I wish we talked more Italian in class but she didn't seem concerned. I am a good student and really wanted to learn the language. The teacher was Veronica Ranucci.

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? Italian 101
How many hours per day did you use the language? 0
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Home stay is definitely the best choice to really immerse yourself in the language. We always spoke Italian at the dinner table, however since I never used it besides that, it was rough.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • Host Family
* 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 host family
  • The city
  • The people
* What could be improved?
  • More traveling
  • Better roommate selection
  • more school activities
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Have a rain jacket and rain boots if you're going in the spring.

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!