Best Decision of my Life October 07, 2019

By (Muhlenberg College) - abroad from 08/24/2018 to 12/13/2018 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 a immense amount of confidence in myself from learning to live and travel on my own. Being able to experience so many different cultures was eye opening to me and I have benefitted from learning how other people live their daily lives. I have developed a new perspective with a lot of things and how I live my life now. Studying abroad was the most worthwhile thing I have done.

Review Photos

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.

My academic experience was a positive one. I took a lot of general academic requirements so some weren't very exciting classes. However, I absolutely loved my photography class. I felt as though I had all the resources and tools necessary to be successful.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The on-site administration was outstanding. The were always there when we needed help and did an excellent job at hosting fun events and trips for us.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I was very happy with the apartment I lived in and the program was always there whenever we had any issues. It was far from the city center but still loved the area I was in.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I was placed in a an apartment that forced me to walk further to my classes which allowed me then to explore and get to know the local culture surrounding me

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I felt very safe while living in Florence and SAI gave us great safety advice during our orientation.

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

Choosing to Study Abroad was the best decision I have made, and I am so happy I chose to do it through SAI. Everyone that works for SAI programs goes above and beyond for their students and makes sure that we have all the resources we need to make our experience amazing. From day one, before we even leave the country, they are there to help with any kind of problem we may have. The SAI program is a great little community that I loved being a part of. The program works only to enhance your experience, and it did just that for me. Although they are always there to help, they encourage us to have a lot of independence which gives students the courage to travel and discover new things on our own. They hope for us to not only succeed academically, but to succeed in growing as person and gaining the best cultural experience.

Finances

* 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)

It is doable to live on a student's budget, just be smart with your money

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Save up as much as you can before leaving and don't spend money on things you don't need. During the week try cooking your own meals because you won't want to when you travel. Take advantage of the free trips offered by the program.

Language

* 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

All of the classes are in English except for the Italian classes. However, the program encourages you to try speaking with the locals in their language and try to emerge in their culture as much as you can.

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? Intermediate I Italian
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? Listen to the language being spoken around you and read the language (ex: read the menus in the foreign language), and speak it as much as you can

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?
  • All of their help they provided
  • Encouraging our immersion in other cultures
* What could be improved?
  • More help when we first arrive at our apartments
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew to take advantage of more of the events such as cooking classes and the free trips that SAI offers

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.