You can't sum it up in 3 to 80 characters. Past Review

By (Austin College) - abroad from 01/02/2012 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?
I learned the material from the courses I took, however, I feel that in a semester abroad the things you learn from books are never as important as the things you learn outside of the classroom. Of course it was worthwhile, and there aren't really words to explain exactly what I have learned or gained from my experience, but I know I am not the same person I was. I think the ways I have changed, the things I have taken from this semester are still manifesting themselves as I am now back home.

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 a little less rigorous that what I am used to at my home institution, but certainly college level work. The resources were available, but sometimes limited such as number of computers, printers, and the times these were available. Also, places to study were limited; the library was too small.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I did a homestay, and though it was much farther from my classes than the student housing in the city center, I did not mind that at all.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt rather integrated because I lived with a host family, lived outside of the tourist-congested city center, and I worked as a volunteer teacher at a pre-school.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

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)

Because I lived with a host family, I only had to pay for my lunch, which was affordable. The only reason why money was because I was in a new country and wanted to try new things.

* Was housing included in your program cost? Yes
* Was food included in your program cost? Yes
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? approximately 50 euros perhaps, on a typical week.


* 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? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? For the Italian language, I never took a class prior to departure.
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? If your goal is acquisition of the language, I suggest living with a host family.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* 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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The professors I had were approachable, likable and knowledgeable. They made class interesting and adorable.
  • The classes the program offered were also very interesting and unique. I would not have been able to find some of the classes at my home institution.
  • I really liked that they had volunteer opportunities as a way for the students to become part of and contribute to the community.
* What could be improved?
  • Some of my classes did not end until 8:30PM, which was a little inconvenient since I lived outside of the city center.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Nothing really comes to mind. I felt prepared, and I don't really have any regrets.