By (Sport and Fitness Administration/Management., University of Missouri - Columbia) - abroad from 06/02/2013 to 07/13/2013 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 international knowledge on every level of life (education, culture, attitude). I also discovered myself in a light that wouldn't have been shed on me had I not taken the opportunity. I made international friends, and friends from my school that I would never have hung out with if we weren't forced together by some miracle of budgeting and decisiveness.

Review Photos

SAI Programs: Florence - Florence University of the Arts Photo SAI Programs: Florence - Florence University of the Arts Photo SAI Programs: Florence - Florence University of the Arts Photo SAI Programs: Florence - Florence University of the Arts Photo SAI Programs: Florence - Florence University of the Arts Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The education was the experience. I can't explain it, all I can do is promote it.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Everyone was friendly and spoke my language. They were always available when we needed them and they have buildings all throughout the city.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The lack of technology was almost a blessing. The beds were small, the showers were tiny, the smell and sounds of the fratelli's around you were ever-present, but that's all part of the experience. I could've lived in a dumpster and had the time of my life!

* Food:

Come on... It's Florence, Italy

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I learned basic Italian before my trip to Florence, and I made it a goal of mine to have an entire conversation with an Italian that would have no idea I was American. That experience came during our last week when I met a couple outside of a bar and spoke to them about the city and work and the wonders of Italy for nearly fifteen minutes in pure Italian. That was one of the five-million-billion highlights of my trip.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Healthcare was very easily accessible and communication was expedited through school-issued cell phones.

* 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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $125
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Take advantage of loan access and APPLY APPLY APPLY for grants. There are several thousand available (layman's terms, I can't verify that) and they are easy to find. Put the work in now and you will get so much more out of the experience later.


* 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? Intermediate
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? Rosetta Stone Italian: Unit 3
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? Rosetta Stone/ books/ the interwebs...

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • 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?
  • The people I went with
  • The City of Florence
  • The everything
* What could be improved?
  • Nothing
  • Nothing
  • Nothing
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Anybody attending a college that offers this program can do it. I had so many questions and perceived issues going into it, but I knew that I wanted to do it so I found a way to resolve those issues. Anything you think might be a problem is only an opportunity to become more prepared. Anyone can do this, and everyone that does will be better for it.

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.