"Florence: Experience of a Lifetime" Past Review

By (Special Education, Illinois State University) for

Lorenzo de' Medici - Summer: Direct Enrollment

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
YES!!! I gained confidence and learned a lot about traveling, Europe, and culture. I will definitely travel more in the future. I am going to look into going to teach English in Africa soon.

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 was extremely disappointed with the academics. The math course was a complete disaster. The teacher did not know math or English. I had one decent class the other four were terrible. Teachers were unhelpful, lectures were boring, assignments and expectations were very unclear.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

No one did anything about my math class even though I went to all the leaders and administrators available to me several times

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My host family was very kind and seemed to care about my enjoyment. They brought me on a nice day trip. The host mom made time to talk to me. The food was very good. Only negative was the house was very dirty and had many bugs.

* Food:

Host mom's cooking was great and any restaurant I found in my travel guide was great.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I became friends with four great girls from Mexico. I don't drink a lot so I avoided most of the night life. I mostly traveled and enjoyed Florence in my free time. I also did a school club which was fun.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Very safe and comfortable.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No

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? I am not sure
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I did not realize how much more expensive everyday items would be in Florence.

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
Language acquisition improvement?

The only good thing about the language program was the tutoring offered.

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

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

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Host Family
  • the city of Florence
  • School activities and clubs
* What could be improved?
  • Academics
  • Support from ISU abroad office while in host country
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I recommend LdM to students who are interested in traveling, having fun, and learning a new culture. I do not recommend LdM to students who value their education or grades. I recommend a host family!