La Dolce Vita Past Review

By (Buisness Administration & Communications, Austin College) - abroad from 01/26/2012 to 05/11/2012 with

SAI Study Abroad: Florence - Florence University of the Arts (FUA)

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained so much. I have learned so much about myself and so much about the world. It was definitely worthwhile and everyone should go abroad if they have the chance.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I found the classes to be very interesting and appealed to me. The classes allowed me to focus on areas I am interested in pursing after graduation, and those classes are usually not offered at Austin College.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I think the Program coordinators from Study Abroad Italy were extrememly disorganized, not very professional, and cared more about making money than your well being. They would not return emails about problems during our time abroad, were not professional about money transactions and excurisons, and treated the students like they were a burden if we came to them with a problem.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The apartment I ended up living in was nice and if we had some sort of problem are land lady was there to help.

* Food:

It's Italy... the food is amazing.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt very integrated into the local culture. I think the biggest thing that held me back was the fact that there are so many study abroad kids in Italy, that Italians just speak English to you right of the bat.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I did not have any health issues.

* Safety:

I felt very safe.

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)


* Was housing included in your program cost? Yes
* Was food included in your program cost? No
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $100-$150
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Don't go crazy in the beginning of the semester, you are there for 4 months.


* 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? Spanish - 5 years
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? Go into an atmosphere where it is used everywhere and just listen and also going to the grocery store to read and traslate all the items is good.

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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The diverse classes and people
* What could be improved?
  • More organized in all aspects
  • More professional
  • More caring towards the students their entire time abroad, not just the first day
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I would have explored my options more about which program to go with. When choosing a program, I primarily looked at costs and classes. I wish I would have considered other factors, like how many students use the program, what trips they go on, the director to student ratio, etc.