Florence is the Best City to Go Abroad Past Review

By (University of Michigan - Ann Arbor) - abroad from 01/22/2019 to 05/09/2019 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 independence, and learned about Italian language/culture/life. It was definitely worthwhile and I feel like I gained a global perspective and fun new experiences in my time in Florence, and in my weekends traveling.

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 very easy. I had a mix of very good and not great professors, but overall I enjoyed my time in class. Note that they are mostly once a week 2.5 hour classes, which feel very long but its nice that they are only once a week for travel.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Mostly very good with communicating, there were just a few times where they did not respond to emails and I had to follow up

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I was given a nice apartment to share with 4 other girls, and there were 2 bathrooms! The kitchen was well stocked with all materials we needed and there was a smart TV in the living room.

* Food:

You can't really get better food than Italy, can you?

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

SAI sent out a weekly newsletter with recommendations of places to go/eat and things to do, which was helpful. But of course, there is always a "scene" of American study abroad students that can make you feel like you're in an Americanized environment.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I sprained my ankle and was able to use my program's recommended English-speaking doctor. It was free with the program's Geo Blue health insurance.

* Safety:

I felt very safe at all times in the program. My apartment was in a safe building with 3 different doors with locks, and a police officer spoke to us at orientation detailing how to stay safe abroad, which was very informational and helpful.

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)

Studying abroad is very expensive, so make sure you budget accordingly! You can save money by using Skyscanner to find the cheapest places to fly to on any given weekend for travel, and for grocery shopping while in your home city.

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Grocery shopping when in your home city rather than eating out for every meal, using Skyscanner when booking travel, and making sure to look at hostels and airbnbs when traveling (not just hotels)!


* 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

In my Italian class, language use was encouraged. In other classes it was hardly integrated at all. The Italian Language class was also quite slowly paced in my opinion.

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? none
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? Try to use it everywhere you go, even if the locals speak English!

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?
  • Apartment
* What could be improved?
  • More Exciting Weekend/Day Trips
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? The people on the program are nice and making friends (especially with my roommates) was easy! And, you don't have to plan all of your travel in advance because you may want to spontaneously plan some trips with roommates and new friends.

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 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.