Firenze, sei bellissima! Past Review

By (Middlebury College) - abroad from 02/06/2017 to 06/30/2017 with

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury in Florence

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My Italian improved and I learned how to adapt to new situations. It was definitely a worthwhile experience.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The course loads were not as difficult as compared to the courses at Middlebury, but having all classes in Italian can be challenging.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Overall, the program administration did a good job of running things. However, there were certain aspects that could be improved such as transparency with the housing selection process.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I had to switch housing and I enjoyed my second housing option but it wasn't what I would have preferred. I signed up to live with a host family and have 5 dinners and 5 breakfasts a week with them. However, it was not made clear to me that for the meals that they didn't cook for me, I wasn't allowed to use the kitchen.

* Food:

The food in Florence is delicious.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I did not feel very integrated by the end of my 5 months in Florence. I had made no Italian friends through school and was disappointed by this. If I could go back I would try to join an erasmus club to meet other European students.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had no heath issues while abroad but healthcare would have been easily if I needed it.

* Safety:

I did not always feel safe while walking around Florence, especially at night. I was often harassed in the streets and aggressively cat-called. For future students, just make sure you have a buddy at night!

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

I would choose to go to a different city in Italy. Florence is too touristy for me, I found myself surrounded by Americans which was not the experience I was looking for.


* 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 spent 40-50 a week on food and then then probably another 50-100 on going out or going to museums etc. This estimate does not include any expenses spent on traveling.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 80-100


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes

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

  • Local Students
  • 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 city because it is beautiful.
  • My courses were generally interesting and challenging.
  • My second host family was very nice.
* What could be improved?
  • Housing selection.
  • The orientation should preferably not start a month before classes begin.
  • Options for integrating (maybe associating with the Erasmus program or giving suggestions on how to meet Italians)
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had known that there were going to be so many Americans in Florence (who were not a part of this program and thus did not speak Italian)

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!

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Sistema Politico Italiano

Course Department: Scienze Politiche
Instructor: Alessandro Chiaramonte
Instruction Language: Italian
Comments: This course was very challenging because I knew practically nothing about how Italy's government worked. However, the Professor explained everything very clearly and would stop if any students had a question. The only assessment was an oral exam at the end of the semester.
Credit Transfer Issues: