Best 5 months of my life August 14, 2023

By (Economics, Middlebury College) - abroad from 02/07/2023 to 05/29/2023 with

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury in Florence

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned not to judge a book by its cover and to be open-minded about everything.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* 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

Florence is my favorite city in the world. The people, food, and culture are amazing.


* 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? $200
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Plan out all your expenses in detail and have some money saved for emergencies.


* 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

We were only allowed to speak in Italian

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? Level 300
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? Speak with locals!

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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The people
  • The food
  • The architecture
* What could be improved?
  • Less writing homework assigned
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? To enjoy the moment, because it goes by pretty fast and you'll wish to be back again.

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 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.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Advanced Stylistics II

Course Department: Writing
Instruction Language: Italian
Comments: It was very challenging. We had to write a 3-page paper every week.
Credit Transfer Issues: no
Course Name/Rating:

Cultural Hist Food in Art/Lit

Course Department: Art history
Instruction Language: Italian
Comments: The clas was super interesting, and the field trips were very insightful. The professor was very knowledgeable. The homework was manageable.
Credit Transfer Issues: no
Course Name/Rating:

Dante's Poetry

Course Department:
Instructor: Literature
Instruction Language: Italian
Comments: The course was challenging because the material felt too advanced for my language skills. I expected us to read Dante, but it was more of a history class and how Dante influenced Italy through his literature.
Credit Transfer Issues: no
Course Name/Rating:

European Union Policy

Course Department: Politics
Instruction Language: Italian
Comments: This was by far the most challenging class I've ever taken in my life. It was taught at the University of Florence and catered to native Italian-speaking students, so I had trouble keeping up. Additionally, it was a course on European Union Policy so all the material was relatively new to me. I not only had to play catch up on the language but on the material as well. I also had to present in Italian twice to a lecture hall full of Italians, so that was super intimidating. Despite all this, I wouldn't trade the experience for anything. This class definitely pushed me to my breaking point, but it allowed me to meet some of the most amazing people, build relationships with professors abroad, face my fears of speaking to native Italian speakers, and overall just made me a better person willing to take risks. It ended up working in the end because I received an A- in the class.
Credit Transfer Issues: no