How important is it to you to experience your world? August 07, 2014

By (VISUAL AND PERFORMING ARTS., Western State College of Colorado) - abroad from 05/10/2013 to 06/01/2013 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?
I gained a broader sense of the world and the roll that I continually choose to play in it. I learned that there are so many lives out there that we will never get to see or experience, but as this is so, we all have the capability to see and experience as much as we can (especially as students) and I think it is important as young people to at least attempt to do so.

Review Photos

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

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Most of the staff at Santa Reparata were friendly and accommodating, although there was one person in particular that seemed as if they really did not like their job.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Had the coolest little apartment overlooking a small alleyway into the chaotic lives of the morning vendors who set up their tents every morning at about 4 am.

* Food:

Italians know food.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Our class would walk the streets of Florence everyday from 9 am to about 2 pm, giving us the chance to really feel what everyday Italian life was like. After class we were free to do as we please. This is when I learned the most about Italian culture and about myself.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I got sick twice. Once with a really bad fever for a few days and the other was right after I started feeling better I went out to a buffet and believe I got food poisoning. Anyway, the Italian doctors and pharmacies were very well accommodating and every one involved was very helpful.

* Safety:

If you travel in groups (highly recommended for all tourists throughout Europe) you will be fine!

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 250.00
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? When you travel, you are going to want to buy good food, cool/ memorable items, and have a good time. The more money you have, the more things you can do. This being said though, you don't need a lot of money to have the time of your life. Save as much as you can before you go, but once you have enough saved, GO! You only live this life once, see as much of the world as you can.

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

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
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? Immerse yourself in the culture is the biggest tip I have. Don't be afraid to use what you do know because even if you completely butcher what you were trying to say, most cultures appreciate the fact that you tried. Take risks.

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

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

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
  • International Students
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 amount of freedom and trust that was given to me in order to explore a new area and experience it to its full potential.
* What could be improved?
  • It didn't seem like other exchange classes didn't have much time during class to get out and explored the area as much as our class did. I think that making it a requirement to go explore for at least an hour during class should be put into place. After all, you travel in order to see new things, not to sit in a building.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I now know that I should save at least twice as much money to take on my trip then I did. This is just because I would have loved to stay in Florence for an extra month or two by myself after classes ended.

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.