Traveling Abroad Changed of my LIFE!!!!!! August 06, 2014

By (BFA Photography, Missouri State University) - abroad from 06/01/2011 to 07/01/2011 with

Santa Reparata International School of Art: Fine Art, Design, Liberal Arts, Italian Language + Internships in Florence

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Yes it was totally worthwhile!!!!!!! I learned how to connect with a new culture, how to speak some of the language and how their culture is so different from ours. I loved every bit of it.... Loved it so much I took my mom back 3 years later. :)

Review Photos

Santa Reparata International School of Art: Florence - Direct Enrollment Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The education side was wonderful. I am a very hands on person and to learn about something in a book then be able to see it and talk about it in real life makes you understand it in a whole different way. It gives you a whole new outlook on the History of life. :) AMAZING!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Im not sure what this is but the Administration at the School in Florence was good. :)

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived with one other girl. We liked our apartment. Only bad part was we were on the top floor no AC it was mega hot and couldn't leave our windows open because of the mosquitoes.. But other than that it was in a safe area, only 5 min walk to school, very centrally located. Very nice place. :)

* Food:

My friend and I went to the big central market almost everyday and we cooked our own food. We enjoyed that very much.. That was one of my most favorite parts of my whole trip! Life Lesson....Don't touch the food at the Central Market though... They will get it for you. :)

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I was not very good at italian but everyone I came across either helped me with my words or worked with me until we both figured out what I needed. Everyone was pretty nice and helpful...

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I was never sick while I was over there but my friend was and we just went to the local Pharmacy and they gave him some meds and he was better in a day or 2. Very good stuff. :)

* Safety:

I feel like its more safe over in Italy than in the USA... I never felt threatened or at harm for any reason.. I walked all over by myself and I was at the time a 22 year old girl. I worked at the school and would have to come home after dark at times. It was very safe. I never got drunk or stupid at the bars either though.. So just be smart and there should be no issues.

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

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)

Well if you don't go shopping all the time you could for sure live on a student's budget esp if you like pasta... You can pick up fresh pasta and bread from the market for a couple of euros and breakfast for a couple of euros I would say about 150-200 euros a week depends on if you cook at home or eat out.. eating out can be very expensive...

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? I would say about 200-400 I bought some gifts and stuff too though... I don't fully remember that was 3 years ago too...
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Buy food at the market it is fresh and cheap. :) Don't stock up on food because their food is so fresh it goes bad quickly.. So just buy what you want to eat each day. :)

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

I tried to use the italian language as much as I could.. The locals are more receptive to u speaking their language.

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? I took one basic class of 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? Get a phrase book and a baby dictionary. Take it everywhere you go that way you can figure out what stuff is on your own and you can try to talk to people. :)

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

* Did you study abroad through an exchange program or did you directly enroll in the foreign university? Direct Enrollment

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 local staff at the school.
  • Seeing in real life what we studied in the book.
* What could be improved?
  • Maybe have a language class over there.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I would have learned the Italian language better before I left. Maybe have taken 2 or 3 courses. Understanding the language of where your going is beyond so helpful.

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 Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.