No, Trust Me, Florence is Better Past Review

By (Pace University) - abroad from 01/20/2012 to 05/12/2012 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
The greatest lasting impact was philosophical- I considered myself a fairly global citizen beforehand, but bargaining for veggies in the San Lorenzo Market and drifting down the canals of Venice opened universes for me.

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.

Definitely easier than my last semester, overall it was much less challenging academically, without being boring or too easy. The resources were marvelous- someone to talk to about any problem.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Annoying orientation program followed by amazing events and helpful advice without getting pushy about it.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Lived in a huge apartment (by NYC standards) right in the very enter of the center of the city, definitely the exact place I would have picked.

* Food:

Always the best part of any trip, in Florence the food quality is beyond amazing.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Being part of the host family community without having to live with a host family- the best of both worlds.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

My roomie got 2nd degree burn on her leg, and was very well taken care of. It's the worst thing you can imagine happening on your trip, but in that event, SAI takes excellent care of its students.

* Safety:

Florence, roughly postage-stamped size, felt very safety, even upwards of 2am.

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)

Very expensive town as far as food is concerned, and worth absolutely every penny.

* 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
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Pasta pasta pasta pasta, repeat.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Beginner
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? italian 101
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? Immersion is the best way, as you have obviously realized, so learn all you can and don't worry at all about what you haven't gotten to yet because they made it easy for me and they will make it easy for you!

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?
  • A. The view of the city from the nunnery/library across from school with gelato in hand
  • 2- Comparing study abroad destinations with other students- Italy's central location made travelling so marveously simple
  • 3- Absolutely the people you meet, students and locals and the old man who owns Bar Victoria and knows absolutely everyone's names
* What could be improved?
  • Blank
  • Blank
  • Well... it came to an end?
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Go for a full semester instead of half of one! And then move there!