Mostly amazing! August 02, 2023

By (Film, Video, Photographic Arts, Sarah Lawrence College) - abroad from 02/05/2023 to 06/16/2023 with

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury in Florence

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was the first time I truly did a lot of things by myself and I enjoyed the independence. I also loved being in Italy and experiencing another culture. I do not feel I learned as much academically as I do in a typical semester, but I learned in other aspects.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I felt some of the coursework was not very engaging, especially compared to my work at my university in the United States. I also felt there was a disconnect between the courses at Middlebury and the course at the university in Florence. The workload/approach to learning was very difficult and it was strange to have to do both at the same time. Our exam at UniFi was a full month after courses ended at Middlebury, and at times I and my fellow students felt it difficult to remain engaged to learning after the majority of our academic experience was over.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* 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? Yes


* 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? Around $100 a week, I think
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? It costs much more than a typical semester at college. Italy is not a very expensive country, especially for food but when I traveled outside of the country I was surprised at the how expensive things were in other European countries.


* 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

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? Advanced Italian and an independent study on Italian literature/film
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Practice reading in the language. I had written many essays in Italian before which I thought was very useful, since a lot of our work was writing.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The location
  • The fellow students
  • Indepence
* What could be improved?
  • Course selection
  • More focus on learning the language/refreshing the skills
  • More group excursions
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew how expensive it was going to be. I also did not know about the mosquitos in Italy and I spent the first two months constantly being bitten by mosquitos, until I finally learned they sell mosquito repellant.

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.