La Vita E Bella. September 06, 2014

By (Business, University of South Florida) - abroad from 09/04/2009 to 12/17/2014 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?
Gained friends. Learned about myself. YES.

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.

Where do I begin? I flew to Florence, Italy without even Googling the city. I did not know one person in the program. It was an art program and I was a BUSINESS major. With all that said, it was the best decision I ever made in college. I got to learn about art, paint, film photography, and meet people from all over the United States that had traveled to study at this school. I worked on a vineyard, traveled all over Tuscany, helped manage the school's fashion show, and loved every moment of it. The teachers and staff were helpful and caring. The campus and housing is in the heart of Florence. It was an amazing experience and worth every penny. I made lifelong friends and memories. THANK YOU SRISA FOR EVERYTHING! You guys still have a piece of my heart.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Very nice and accommodating.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

We had a smaller place, but spent most of our time at our friend's place with a terrace that overlooked the Duomo!

* Food:

Pizza...let's be real...that's my favorite food.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I am bad with other languages so it was tough for me. I did like to just walk around and watch everything. It was great.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I did not have any health issues during my stay.

* Safety:

Florence is a pretty safe city.

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)

Money is always a tough thing when you are a college student. As long as you stayed away from the main plazas you can eat relatively cheap.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? n/a
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? n/a

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

They encouraged it...I was just horrible at it!..ha

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? n/a
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? Practice, practice, practice...

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

  • 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?
  • Florence
  • Friends
  • Staff
* What could be improved?
  • There should be an Italian Class for people who are REALLY SLOW language learners.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Cherish everyday there. It will end sooner than you think.

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.