What a summer!!! Past Review

By (California State Polytechnic University, Pomona) - abroad from 07/15/2012 to 08/18/2012 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Is there a maybe button. I loved the structure, but at the same time I would have liked a lot less writing and more information on great places to meet the locals.

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.

There is no doubt we earned our grades. There was a lot of homework.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Great hosts and professors. I really felt safe and comfortable.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

We were all in the same apartment building decked out in Ikea. I have always wanted to live in an Ikea home. I loved that. It turns out this doesn't happen very often. Usually yours school housing is all over the city which can also be great.

* Food:

I mean....we were in Italy.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I would have liked to be in more of the smaller cities for a longer period of time. Those small trips made a big impact.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I happen to have a very special case. I fractured my ankle on the third week of my program. Although the city was not handicap accessible, the health care system was very cost effective and the required travel insurance saved my bank. I fractured it on a hike with one of the staff. She helped me through the entire thing. I had to first see the British doctor that is there for the study abroad students, then go to another facility for x-rays (which was like a luxury hotel), then finally the brand new hospital, where I had my cast put on and I was the second person called from the emergency room full of 20 people. I also had extended my travel plans after the trip to go to France and Spain, and I decided to spend about $30 extra dollars of health insurance to cover that portion of the trip just in case. I was so happy that I did. I would not have been covered if I had not paid the extra money. Don't let my story stop you from going. I was a special case, and it did not ruin my time.

* Safety:

I felt very safe the entire time.

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


* 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)


* 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? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? None
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? Don't be shy. I was too shy to use what I knew.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
  • 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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Structured and well planned out.
* What could be improved?
  • Time with the locals.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? How to meet the locals.

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.