Great Independent experience Past Review

By (Middlebury College) - abroad from 09/21/2017 to 01/31/2018 with

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury in Ferrara

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned more Italian, how to cook, and about myself.

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.

It was relatively difficult because of the language aspect, so the courses being easier helped. We also received a tutor that really was the reason that I grew so much in the field.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

They were not easily accessible or accommodating for many student's needs.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I was fortunate enough to live with a large group of Italians in a dorm-like structure. This is the reason why I developed so much in my language abilities.

* Food:

Wonderful food, makes me miss it often.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt integrated because of the living space and because I found my own extracurricular activities. I found a dance studio and went there on a weekly basis.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I didn't have any health issues, but a friend did. She was not adequately accommodated neither by the university nor health systems there. The international insurance didn't have any doctors in network so she would have had to pay up front for any treatment.

* Safety:

Very safe city in general, I felt very secure even at night.

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

I am very independent so I did fine here.


* 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 think it was easy to maintain a good budget, but that quickly became complicated by travel. In order to see new places, I travelled and stayed with friends, but it was still difficult to maintain a budget.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $200 more or less.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Buy local and try to go where locals go, this is where food costs less but is still good.


* 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

There was a pledge that we signed saying we would not use any language other than the target language while abroad.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? 353 Italian course
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Make friends with the locals, this will be the best way to develop your skills.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Other
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • 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?
  • Small town
  • Personalised attention
  • Immersive experience.
* What could be improved?
  • Administrative support
  • course options-the required course limited our ability.
  • Extracurricular options.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Travelling via train is cheap! Save money so you can do it!

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

General Sociology

Course Department: Sociology
Instructor: Pierpaola Pierucci
Instruction Language: Italian
Comments: The subject material was challenging because of the terminology.
Credit Transfer Issues: No
Course Name/Rating:


Course Department: Humanities
Instructor: Teresa Quarta
Instruction Language: Italian
Comments: Teresa is a wonderful professor and this course was a part of the Middlebury required programs. She was very well prepared and gave us a lot of information about high-level proficiency. We were assessed with papers exams and homework.
Credit Transfer Issues: No
Course Name/Rating:

Sociology of Art

Course Department: Sociology
Instructor: Maria Antonietta Trasforini
Instruction Language: Italian
Comments: Really interesting course conceptually. She was a great professor that spoke slowly and was accommodating to international students. We were assessed by one exam, and a few papers mandated by the college.
Credit Transfer Issues: No