An Experience of a Lifetime December 14, 2022

By (Finance, Missouri State University) - abroad from 06/06/2022 to 12/30/2022 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I made lifelong connections not just with my roommates, but with classmates and locals that you just can't get anywhere else. I was also able to see so many iconic museums and art pieces that I will never forget!

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 really enjoyed learning Italian culture at FUA and getting the opportunity to be taught by an actual Florentine local! Fabio was my professor, and he was amazing! Took us on multiple trips around the city to learn about the culture and history of Florence and was so lucky to learn from him!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Very helpful and easy to communicate with during my stay in Florence. They were always there to host their own activities to help immerse us in the culture and also have tons of fun!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The apartment living was fantastic! Very spacious and clean when we arrived, and had amenities not even in my apartment back home. Beautiful view of the Palazzo Vecchio!

* Food:

I knew when going to Italy I was going to eat good, but little did I expect to be blown away by the quality of the meals I would have in Florence. I went to a different place every night and was never disappointed!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The locals were very understanding and nice when it came to use study abroad students with little experience in the culture. Even with little experience in the Italian language, they helped me through it and made me feel very welcome!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Had a couple issues concerning COVID exposures and having to leave apartment for cleaning sessions. The issue was handled quickly though!

* Safety:

Never felt unsafe at night and didn't have any problems with safety while there! We were well informed of what services to call if we ever felt in danger, but I never had the need to use them!

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

I made lifelong friends and memories that will last a lifetime! I was so lucky to have been in one of the most beautiful places in the world with such amazing history and culture! For this being my first time in Europe, it will be hard to beat and I will always reminisce my time in Florence.


* 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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? N/A
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? - Attend the trips with the program to the local market to buy basics for breakfast or lunches! - Utilize the grocery store and prioritize necessities over items that you want but may not need. - Work with your study abroad advisor on an overall budget to find the specific amount you want to limit yourself to for each week! - It can be difficult at times but gets easier as you settle in!


* 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

Didn't have any past experience with Italian but my professor was very understanding and was very helpful in learning the basics!

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? 5 years of French
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? Definitely practice, practice, practice! One of the best ways to learn is to use what you learn in your courses in the real world! Even just using the basics helped me feel more confident in my ability to speak Italian.

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?
  • The actives offered to immerse its students into the local culture.
  • The Support Staff and always being there if questions came up on the way.
  • The people I met through the program who I continue to be in touch with today.
* What could be improved?
  • COVID protocol
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? The only thing I wish I knew a little bit more before I went into the program was the language itself. I had no prior Italian language background and this would have been the perfect opportunity to use it, so I encourage anyone with that background to practice while they are there!

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.