Italian Emursion Past Review

By (Florence University of the Arts) - abroad from 05/12/2014 to 06/01/2014 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned how to emerge myself in a cultural complete different from my own, not compare the Italian ways of life to Americans, about Renaissance art, and the amazing city of Florence!

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.

My class was intense and required class attendance, studying, and writing papers, but the amount of information I learned made it worth it.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My roomates were both wonderful and easy to live with. SAI chose an excellent apartment for me to live in that was close to central areas while also exposing me to how the Italians live by its placement in an urban neighborhood.

* Food:

How can you not love Italian food? I tried a new dish each meal I ate. One of my favorites, to my surprise, was the lard bruschetta! I ate the best pizza I have ever had as well in Piazza Santo Spirito.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

By living in a neighborhood with Italian locals, I was able to interact with locals at the bar caddy corner to my road and talk to them in the grocery store. The Italians are so friendly and curious that in many restaurants I had conversations with locals. My roommate had also been in Italy for a few months prior to me, so she knew a lot of locals my age which made it neat to interact with them and connect with people my own age.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

SAI warned all of the students of health issues during our orientation such as bedbugs when traveling to take extra precautions in the foreign country.

* Safety:

I felt very safe in Florence and did not have any issues. I was very smart about where my bag was at all times and tried to avoid large crowds. I did hear about a few people getting items stolen in public, but in all cases it was because they were careless and oblivious to their surroundings. I was smart about walking home alone, especially at night. Use the buddy system! When you are in a foreign country, even if you do feel safe, it never hurts to take extra precautions.

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)

I did not budget as well as I could have, so I spent much more money than I should have. I should have planned to cook, chosen economical restaurant options, and watched my spending. But because I was only in Italy for 3 weeks, I felt that I need to eat, see, and explore as much as I could. This is not an economical trip, especially with the Euro to American dollar exchange rate. But if you plan and react smart, you can make it a manageable expense.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $200 food; $100 travel expenses; $50 souveniers
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Use your kitchen! It will save you a lot of money if you simply eat breakfast in your apartment and cook your lunch. Use dinner to explore Italian restaurants and allow yourself to splurge. It is also important to plan your weekend trips and develop a budget when away from your apartment. Choose day trips instead of spending the night in pricy hotels or even an extra expense in hostels.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* 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?
  • Florence
  • Renaissance Art
  • Emersion
* What could be improved?
  • length of program
  • more interaction with locals
  • more bonding opportunities with fellow students
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? To plan where I want to go and what I want to see instead of "winging" it. Budget meals and don't make so many expensive trips to the ATM. I also wish I would have learned basic Italian to get around a little easier. Though everyone knows English, it is often very little and broken. Knowing Italian would have also helped me meet more locals and engage more with the locals I did meet.

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 Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.