Life Changing International Influential Year Abroad Past Review

By (University of South Carolina - Columbia) - abroad from 08/20/2011 to 05/10/2012 with

SAI Study Abroad: Florence - Apicius International Culinary School of Hospitality

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I had the ability to surround myself with people from nations from all over the world. In those 9 short months, I learned so much more about myself and the hospitality industry than any textbook could have taught me. Getting out of my comfort zone and into the unknown I was able to grasp so many life skills that I would not have been able to back home.

Review Photos

SAI Programs: Florence - Apicius International Culinary School of Hospitality Photo

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.

I specialized in studying pastries and worked six days a week practicing the art. On top of that I took extra hospitality and art classes for my major back home. I worked hard!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

SAI was helpful during the move in process and the location of their facilities.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Living in Florence for two semesters, I was able to discover what parts of the city I spent my most time. I enjoyed my apartment in the Fall and scouted out another near by for the Spring. I loved the apartments in Florence. They were small and had lots of stairs but full of so much character and culture and of course amazing views.

* Food:

I studied Italian pasties and became very good friends with my classmates. I lived for the food!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I'm very thankful to have attended international school while at Apicius. My classmates were from all over the world: America, Brazil, Italy, Malaysia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Sweden etc. The international influence made my time in Italy much more enjoyable.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Respect the Italians and their way of life.

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)

Aperitivos are the best

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Buy from the local markets


* 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

In my program, English was mostly everyone's second language and wanted to practive speaking that.

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? 0
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Practice dailiy

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

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

Select all that apply

  • 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?
  • International Students
  • Classes
* What could be improved?
  • More excursions avaible for certificate participants
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Nothing. I loved going into the experience as an empty book.