I am trying to find a way to get back to Florence. August 21, 2014

By (Fashion/Apparel Design., University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa) - abroad from 05/15/2014 to 06/15/2014 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 wouldn't choose this one again because it just wasn't long enough. I learned what I have always suspected: I will be an American Expat.

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.

The teachers from my school earned the low stars, but, the Santa Reparata teacher taught me SO much.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

It was nothing like at home, but that's the point! It was so cool living in an apartment surrounded by Italians rather than be consolidated into the group of Americans we came with.

* Food:

It's Italy.... obviously I ate well. Pro tip: if they are out on the street trying to bring you in (especially when you are a young Blonde like I am- obviously not Italian) it is probably a tourist trap! You can so easily find delicious affordable food if you do your research!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The only reason this wasn't 5 stars was because I speak very little Italinan. I got to actually meet some Italian locals, so I got to go to a lot of places where the locals go. Had I not, however, I would not have felt as integrated. Santa Reparata was good about setting up a cooking class and weekend outings, but the negative thing I have to say was when we went to Sienna they took the whole school at the time so we explored with a TON of people. I would have preferred smaller groups.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

N/A. However, there was not much explained about healthcare so I was very glad I didn't get sick!

* Safety:

Florence is a WONDERFUL city, but, the first night I went out in the city I got pick pocketed inside of a bar. The scariest thing is that I was on guard and had my purse right on me in the front for the whole night- except for the 45 seconds in was on my hip/front and someone unzipped and pulled my wallet out without my noticing! It is a different country, and people target you as foreigners (it is so obvious). Don't ever put your purse on the back of your chair whilst dining, either.

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)

Things kept adding up! I wanted to experience everything, and I did not really have a good idea of what was reasonable before I went.

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

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?
  • Free time at night meeting locals
  • Living in apartments
  • Enrica, our teacher. She was perfection
* What could be improved?
  • The weekend trips/group outings
  • Class schedule
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? What to expect in terms of how much money to save to use while abroad!

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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The Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.