An experience of a lifetime that fee;l extrely grateful to have been able to do. August 16, 2015

By (Fine Arts, Studio Arts, University of Texas - Arlington) - abroad from 01/08/2015 to 04/30/2015 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?
The ability and knowledge that I could live on my own for an extended period of time. A real awareness of differences between cultures. A feeling of intimacy with a culture and art that shaped a whole way of life and perspective of art for centuries to come. How small yet important I felt compared to the art that surrounded and almost drowned me in its overwhelming appearance everywhere.

Review Photos

Santa Reparata International School of Art: Fine Art, Design, Liberal Arts, Italian Language + Internships in Florence Photo Santa Reparata International School of Art: Fine Art, Design, Liberal Arts, Italian Language + Internships in Florence Photo Santa Reparata International School of Art: Fine Art, Design, Liberal Arts, Italian Language + Internships in Florence Photo Santa Reparata International School of Art: Fine Art, Design, Liberal Arts, Italian Language + Internships in Florence Photo Santa Reparata International School of Art: Fine Art, Design, Liberal Arts, Italian Language + Internships in Florence Photo

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.

From wanting to come home right away when I got there, to not wanting to comer home when it was time to leave, my experience was one of support from the school consistently. I could not have wanted for a better experience.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

There were some areas that seemed to need attention. However, I think most of them were due to the differences of culture or priorities.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I was most satisfied. I would have liked the elevator to have been in working order since my apartment was on the 3rd floor and their system started with ground floor instead of 1st. So I actually was on the 4th floor. And after being in the country for a while, I found that I could have gotten an apartment better or at least equal to mine for 1/2 the money. This is something I think you experience everywhere however.That is, after you get to know an area better from living there for a while.

* Food:

Food was fabulous and you could find places to spend as little or as much as you wanted.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

This was a tough are for me. I found that the Florenziens were very hard to get to know intimately. It seemed that they were one of the harder people of Italy to be accepting of others and allowing them as an intimate part of their community. At the end of the third month, I finally was making friends that I could do things with and be comfortable.....just in time to go home.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I could not have asked for better. The pharmacists were very much like doctors and could dispense some medication,s if you told them your symptoms, that you would need a doctor here for. When I did have to go to the doctor, he got me in to see him very quickly with almost no wait time in his office.and my experience could not have been more positive.

* Safety:

I felt extremely safe. I walked the streets at almost every hour of the day at one time or another and by myself, without any type of uneasiness or confrontation. And the streets were cleaned and swept every night so that passage throughout the city was most enjoyable and uncomplicated by trash or junk. It was an extremely clean city.

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)

After buying your original kitchen set up however, funds for living were not too bad.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $350.00
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Get to know the area as quickly as possible and find out where the locals go, for those are the more inexpensive but better places to shop eat and even lounge or spend time during the day or evening.

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

and all the staff were most encouraging and helpful.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Beginner
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? I could hold a basic conversation. so mediochre I would say.
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? try to speak it with everyone you can from people on the street and shop tenders to classmates. Even if just joking around, those are the times that you will make jokes or say things that will forever give you a means to remember words or expressions forever. they will then become part of your working vocabulary.

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

  • Other
  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Other
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
  • Other
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?
  • being able to see the art I studied first hand
  • being totally engulfed by art 24 hours a day.
  • The fact that everyone associated with the program and school was so helpful and supportive.
* What could be improved?
  • At an undergraduate level as we are, a little more guidance for some. Instead of the allowance for self exploration.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? As much Italian as I do so that I could have spoken more fluently and sooner with the native Italians. And a little more knowledge of art history.

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Renassance Art History

Course Department: Art History
Instructor:
Instruction Language: English
Comments: very challenging but rewarding. Professor was always prepared and knew the subject very well. But the kicker was the fact that we could go over and review pieces of art in class one day and then go to the museum where those pieces of art were and see them in person. How much more impressive was that, and how better to learn a subject than to review and inspect the actual items to be studied. Also, we got a card that allowed us access to most of the museums for free. And when there was a line or crowded streets, with that same card we allowed to go to the head of the liner and be able to spend opur time studying art instead of waiting in line to see it;
Credit Transfer Issues: not to my knowledge....they were quick to get my grades to me and forwarded on to my school n a timely manner