Great City, Be Prepared Before You Go August 11, 2019

By (Sarah Lawrence College) - abroad from 02/06/2019 to 05/31/2019 with

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury in Florence

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned how to be more independent and overall I really enjoyed my time abroad. It was definitely worthwhile and taught me a lot 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.

I didn't find the classes very challenging, but I did enjoy the field trips.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

There wasn't much of an orientation which made the beginning a little difficult and the program was isolating at times due to the language pledge.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I found living with a host family to be the most enriching part of my experience.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I didn't have any experiences with health issues, so I'm not sure about the heath care.

* Safety:

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

I really enjoyed Florence and my host family, however prior to going I was not aware what a central point language would hold in the program. I would tell other students to be prepared for this and take at least a semester or online language class before going just to get the basics down. I felt the other classes were lacking due to the large emphasis placed on language.

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)

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

There was a language pledge, so the main area of focus was on learning and using the language.

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? Beginner
How many hours per day did you use the language?

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
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?
  • Host Family
  • Peers
  • Florence
* What could be improved?
  • Administration
  • Community
  • Pre-Orientation/Orientation
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? How much of it would be focused on language.

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.'