The best time of my life! December 06, 2019

By (George Washington University) - abroad from 08/28/2018 to 12/11/2019 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Learned more about Italian culture, navigating in a country with a foreign language, how to travel, how to be independent/rely on myself, Renaissance art, cooking, etc. It was VERY worthwhile.

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? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Great variety of courses and professors were very engaging.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Always there to help with whatever you needed! I loved the events they planned because they allowed to me bond with other people in my program.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I was very satisfied. Lived in an apartment with an amazing view and all my neighbors were Florence locals.

* Food:

Italian food is just amazing in general, but when we had events with SAI the food was so good.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt as integrated as I could be without being fluent in Italian. They encouraged us to go to local markets and shops which added to me cultural learning experience.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I never really had any issues health wise, but SAI did a great job of providing us with resources. There were plenty of English speaking doctors available if we needed anything.

* Safety:

Felt very safe during the day and avoided being out by myself at night. Never felt like I was ever in danger while there. Only thing is the traffic/how people drive that I had to get used to.

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

Loved the onsite support and resources. The variety of activities planned were so fun.

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)

I was able to manage on my budget because I made it a priority to have enough money to travel to all the places I wanted to go to.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? It varied, but probably $50-70
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? While I wanted to go out to dinner ever night in Florence because of how good the food is, I saved a lot of money by going to the grocery store. Plus, I attended any events in which SAI provided food. Go to the fresh market for cheap and quality produce.

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

Told us how to be respectful, to take an Italian class, and to know at least conversational Italian.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Beginner
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Intermediate
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? Listen to the phrases your professors use, go to local areas, and take a language class with your program.

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? 10+

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • On-site support
  • Trips included
  • Weekly optional activities
* What could be improved?
  • More program offered language practice activities
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? There are SO many study abroad students in Florence. Sometimes I saw more Americans than locals during the day.

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.