Everyone who goes to Florence, falls in love with Florence. September 05, 2014

By (Santa Reparata International School of Art) - abroad from 01/07/2013 to 05/22/2013 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?
SO WORTH WHILE! It was my first time outside the US, I was alone, and it was the most beautiful time of my life. I wish I could go back with a better brain screwed on my head, but this is the process of life!

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The rigor is not intense, but great for allowing time to explore the city!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Staff was the best part!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Housing was wonderful. In the heart of everything!

* Food:

Wish I could have afforded more dining experiences, but you cannot eat anything bad.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Had I been better at Italian I would have felt more at home. There was definitely an "I am American" sense to me. This seemed to not attract the locals...

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had no health issues.

* Safety:

It is crucial that one understands how to deal with the creeps of the night. On a few occasions strangers would follow a group of us, but if you know how to handle these situations, you will most likely be fine. You have to be aware of being a tourist all of the time.

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)

The food was really the main issue. It all adds up very quickly, especially against the weak american dollar right now.

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? You will always spend more than you plan. It is important that you don't have to sacrifice any great experiences or trips that may come up while abroad, so save as much as possible for the trip and do your best! (Maybe don't go the Zara so often)

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

Yes, but it was scary using my few skills in florence! Everyone knows english fairly well, and not many people are asking what your eye color is like we practiced in class.

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
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? none
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? Exchange

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • 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?
  • teachers
  • cultural immersion
  • wine tasting
* What could be improved?
  • the library
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew how cool europeans always looked. I stuck out like sore thumb! Definitely targeted as a tourist on most occasions. I wish there was an easier way to find locals to become friends with.