SAI Florence: An Amazing Journey in Tuscany Past Review

By (George Washington University) - abroad from 08/29/2016 to 12/16/2016 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was absolutely worthwhile! I loved every bit of being abroad and it really taught me that I was fully capable of living in a new place by myself especially so far from home! It really taught me a lot about being an adult and helped me grow in more ways than I would have ever thought.

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 would say that Florence University of the Arts (FUA) had a wide range of classes that I could take, and the classes that I did take were very enjoyable and informative. SAI really helped to facilitate picking a schedule and had a really good relationship with the University.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

My program advisors were extremely helpful and alway available to answer questions. They were very open to discussion and always willing to help with any questions both before, during, and after leaving Florence.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I really loved my housing situation, as we got our own apartments in a beautiful neighborhood. It was great to be able to live in an authentic Italian apartment. It was also conveniently located near the school and only a 10 minute walk to and from classes.

* Food:

The Italian food was absolutely phenomenal, both and restaurants and provided by the host school. Though we had no dining hall, there were grocery stores at almost every corner and it was extremely easy to cook and buy groceries. If I wanted to go out and get food, there were restaurants readily available for me.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

My social/cultural integration was very smooth. I felt at home in Florence after the first two weeks, as learned my way around and learned more about the Italian culture. Most Italians spoke English and were willing to work with you when speaking Italian!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

SAI really provided a good system for students to go to a doctor while in Florence. They provided means for us to sign up with student healthcare prior to going abroad, and provided us with an English-speaking doctor while in Florence. I visited the doctor a few times with a sore throat and other minimal issues and he was always extremely helpful with prescriptions. In addition to this, the local pharmacists were always willing to help and generally spoke English.

* Safety:

I felt extremely safe during my time with SAI and in Florence. There were generally police around the city at most times. I would say to always be vigilant while walking around, however Florence is a very safe city and SAI provides housing that are in very public and open spaces.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

I would choose this program a million times over, they were so helpful and open during this experience. They provided amazing excursions and access to really exciting events, which was great in aiding to meet new people. I really feel that SAI was an amazing support network and essential to my amazing time abroad!


* 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)

In terms of food and groceries, I was able to live on a budget of about $55/week on groceries and around $35-$40/week on different outings. I would give it an overall 4 and rate it as manageable.

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? i would say to get as many groceries as you can and work on eating in most of the time, and treating yourself on the weekends and occasional week nights to eating out.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

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?
  • SAI Staff
  • Housing
  • City/Location
* What could be improved?
  • Proximity to school
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That Italians eat dinner very late, and that cooking at home for most meals is the norm and should be a part of your life abroad.

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.