SRISA changed my life... my favorite place on Earth! August 13, 2014

By (Visual arts, Eastern Connecticut State University) - abroad from 01/10/2011 to 04/15/2011 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?
SRISA taught me about loving another culture, using another language, and appreciating the world around me... but that is not all. My view of art changed. I learned to see art in a new way.

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? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The administration is always willing to help students. Fantastic staff!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Florence was absolutely beautiful. My apartment was large with three bedrooms for six girls. This sounds crowded, but it wasn't. It was perfect. SRISA did a great job finding apartments that worked for its' students.

* Food:

Food in Florence, Italy is absolutely fantastic. SRISA does not have a dining hall, but it is a small school. The small school has a lot of charm and the lack of dining hall/cafeteria should not stop you from attending. There are many delicious "sandwich shops" (panini, etc.) in the area that are fantastic and affordable.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

SRISA made me feel very integrated in the culture. The staff is very welcoming and happy to answer any questions you have about the culture, language and city. If you need help finding something they are always there to help you out. Matilde, one of the Italian professors, brought us out into the city to practice our Italian by shopping (using only Italian to discuss sizes, prices, colors, etc.). Orientation even included information about the country's culture, city's culture, and many social expectations. A+!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I became ill upon my visit. I was sent to the closest pharmacy (sort of like a doctor in the sense that they know your symptoms and give a medication to help you). I was unsure what to do and the FANTASTIC SRISA worker, Marta, told me exactly what to say and do to get what I needed and recover. She is lovely.

* Safety:

This is a very safe city, but know your limits. For example: girls should not be wandering around inebriated in the middle of the night alone... but doesn't that go for every city? I always felt safe in Florence. My friends and I had a fantastic time in the city and never felt that we were in harm's way. Just know where you are going and how to stay safe.

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)

If you are smart about it, you can stay within budget. I was very tempted to buy delicious food and Italian clothes though...

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? Intermediate
How many hours per day did you use the language?

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

  • Local Students
  • 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 staff was warm, fantastic, and caring. I love the staff of SRISA with all of my heart.
  • Location: Firenze (aka Florence) is the most beautiful city in the world
  • The professors encourage you to use your Italian and mingle with the locals (learn about and immerse yourself into the culture).
* What could be improved?
  • Nothing :)
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had known more about the fashion in Italy so I could have brought nicer clothes... but, not really... because I got to buy a bunch of Italian-style hip clothing instead. I can't complain.

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'