Standing Up For Myself and Breaking Free From Norms August 19, 2014

By (Sociology., Santa Reparata International School of Art) - abroad from 06/01/2011 to 08/04/2011 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?
I learned that I can ignore bullies, but also that I can stand up to them and make sure they know they cannot pick on me. I've learned to depend on myself and not on others for help.

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I was paired up with a group of girls who were bullying me. I felt like I could not turn to any of the staff or admin for aid because I did not feel a trust relationship with them. I felt like I was a number and not appreciated for who I am. Throughout my program I was bullied after school in my housing.

* Food:

Great food field trips---especially Chianti!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Bullying needs to be addressed and staff needs to make sure they build a basic trust relationship with all students, ensuring that students know staff are there for them for whatever the issue.

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)

It was not very easy to live on a student's budget. I found myself short on money during my 5-day break, transitioning from 1st summer session to 2nd summer session.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $150-200
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Try your best to cook at home verses eating at restaurants every week!

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? Go to the local bars to meet new people and chat!

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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Food
  • Language
  • Culture
* What could be improved?
  • Roommate Matching
  • Culture Variety of Roommates
  • Staff-to-student Interaction
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew that I did not have a say in picking my roommates.

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.'