Immerse Yourself January 10, 2019

By (Rochester Institute of Technology) - abroad from 05/25/2018 to 06/24/2018 with

SAI Study Abroad: Sicily - Syracuse Academy

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I would take the language studied more seriously.

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.

I enjoyed the Italian language class, although I didn’t feel confident in communicating in Italian while abroad. The Mafia class was pretty dry.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Although the apartment was beautiful and spacious, we did have problems with a leaky sink, a clogged shower drain, and WiFi that wouldn’t work past the bend in the hallway.

* Food:

The food was amazing and tasted fresher than the US, but I must’ve ate something that made me sick.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I got sick about halfway through my trip causing me to miss a week of classes. The program advisor helped me by driving me to a clinic and pharmacy. Although my two trips to see doctors didn’t result in a proper diagnosis, I was satisfied with my free healthcare.

* Safety:

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

I would choose the same program but probably a different location.


* 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 spent way under my budget for food. This was possible by buying groceries at the market across the street and cooking my own meals. Eating out at restaurants was also possible, and didn’t break the bank. Fresh fruits and vegetables at the farmers market were also very inexpensive.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 50 food per week + 25 for daily activities and buying giftsn
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Shop for groceries and prepare your own meals. Going to a bar costs a lot more than buying a cheap bottle of wine.


* 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

My class didn’t take it too seriously, as the other students (my roommates) didn’t plan to continue the language after the trip. We didn’t do enough practicing of complete sentences verbally during class to be confident enough to speak to locals.

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? Talk to locals whenever you get the chance. Practice listening and restating their questions so you get used to talking in complete sentences.

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?
  • Food
  • Friends
  • Beach
* What could be improved?
  • Increase verbal speaking of Italian class
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Don’t eat food unless you know the person who cooked it washed their hands.

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!