Florence was amazing, the program was awful March 21, 2018

By (Tufts University) - abroad from 09/06/2017 to 12/22/2017 with

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury in Florence

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
yes of course. it was an amazing 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.

Not hard; poor resources

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Horrible... Except for Patrizia and Laura. It was a very poorly run administration, especially for the Beginner students

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

HORRIBLE. Many other programs have much closer housing. I was also placed with a male in my program. The woman I rented the apartment from was nice, however, horrible organization in terms of living and disclosure of what I was actually signing up for. My housemate lied to me, I did not feel very comfortable, it was dirty, and Middlebury did not do a good job of organizing it at all.

* Food:

Obviously great... none provided by the university?

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* 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? No

Literally never. Already explained. Poorly run program. the director had no sympathy for beginner students, and was not helpful

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? 100 euro
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Cook when you can

Language

* 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

They encouraged it very strongly, however to an extent that made it a joke for other students. They made the beginners take the language pledge when we literally spoke NONE of the language going into the program. This automatically meant that we would be breaking it. It was pointless for us to take the pledge right away. It took away the validity of the whole thing. FURTHERMORE, when we had a class trip for the beginner class, they invited other students on it and proceeded to do the entire trip in Italian when the trip was a mandatory trip for beginners who were not fluent and therefore could not understand the material for our class.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
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? None in Italian
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? Listen to podcasts

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
  • Other
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
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?
  • Teachers
  • Location
* What could be improved?
  • Director
  • Organization
  • Food/Housing
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Would have changed my housing arrangement, would have gone to not such a small program. Would not do this program again.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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The Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.