Interested in Art? Do this program! Past Review

By (Georgia State University) - abroad from 08/30/2016 to 12/15/2016 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 worthwhile. I learned how to live on my own for the first time. I went as a sophomore and my freshman year I lived at home. I loved the culture of living. Hang drying clothes, hand washing dishes, walking everywhere!

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

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.

The classes were really awesome! They were entry level so most art classes took you back to the basics. The homework load was managable, and if a teacher realized it was becoming too much they would cut back. The school was open for great hours and were responsive to emails. My two favorite classes were Chemistry in the Arts and Intro to Art History. I love the chem class because it was so fascinating. It was all about the science behind art, mostly painting. The AH class was great because we went on a lot of field trips to the museums so I got to see all the art museums in florence with my teacher as a tour guide and didn't have to pay insane prices.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

SAI was very helpful. They really wanted you to have a healthy, positive, and enriching experience. They were always on top of apartment issues and available to help with mental support. My favorite part about their offerings was their included trips and excursions. I got to take cooking classes, go on a bike tour in tuscany, and go on a weekend trip to islands off the coast of Italy.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I really loved my location and apartment. I was close to Santa Croce which was just a 3 minute walk to class and 2 minute walk to the SAI office. We have some issues with water while we were there. The water heater rarely worked, but you're lucky to get hot water at all in Italy.

* Food:

My roommate and I were always on a search for new and great food places around town! We found some amazing places. There are a TON of tourist traps and bad places around, but SAI will give you some tips and tricks to determine the difference.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

By the end I felt integrated for the most part, but I wish I was there longer! The best feeling is when a tourist walks up to you and asks if you speak english, assuming you're a local.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I did not have any health issues while in Italy, but one of my roommates did. She had to go to the hospital several times and SAI was always there to help.

* Safety:

I never felt unsafe, but I also didn't put my self in a situation where I may feel unsafe.

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

I am an Art major, and Italy was the perfect place to study abroad for the arts. They are one of the only programs that offer these classes and they even offer scholarships. (one of which I received)


* 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)

I probably spent about $80 or less every week. GO TO THE GROCERY STORE. I would spend about 20 -30 euro on groceries a week. Coffee was a must every morning for 2.50 euro. I would go out a few nights to eat with my roommate, and of course, I would splurge on some souvenirs every so often. I also kept all of my receipts and documented my spending every month.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $80
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Go to the grocery store. Don't buy something immediately, you're in florence for awhile so you can always go back if you really loved that item. Know your credit card charges and ATM fees before you go.


* 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 2
How many hours per day did you use the language? 0
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Get duo lingo. Talk to italians in italian. They are willing to be patient for you. Its my biggest regret, not learning the language.

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?
  • culture of living
  • roomate
  • classes
* What could be improved?
  • website functionality
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew how long it would take to get my credits transferred. I also wish I knew Italian, although, you don't need to know the language. DO NOT OVER PACK. I did not, however, my roommate definitely did.

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!