A Period of Personal Growth January 13, 2017

By (Drury University) - abroad from 08/25/2016 to 12/16/2016 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 make breakthroughs with my art because I was allowed to focus intensely on it and pushed to experiment and explore new methods and mediums. Even more importantly, I learned a lot about myself - about my likes and dislikes, and what I want out of life. I also gained some pretty awesome friends. A worthwhile experience that tested my limits and allowed me to come out on top.

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.

Courses were well structured and pushed me to explore entirely new artistic horizons. I learned a lot about my own style and was able to dedicate a lot of time to it. As for resources, SRISA is very well stocked with facilities and materials, and what they don't have can be easily purchased around Florence. We recevied discounts at many supply stores because we were SRISA students!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Nice accommodations - however, it takes some adjusting to Florence weather and things. I arrived whenever the weather was 90°F+ and air conditioning is a rarity in residential apartments (however, we were provided two fans). I am now back for semester two and it's soooooo cold in the apartments, as the temp cannot exceed 68°F in winter, per city regulations.

* Food:

Just yes. Italian food is amazing and the selection of fresh, quality ingredients in the city is wonderful. It is hard going back to American food!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I battled a cold and sinus infection, plus severe allergies, etc., and any time I needed anything, all it took was a trip to the local pharmacy and I was given the proper medication to get me back on my feet.

* Safety:

I always felt safe, though would not recommend walking alone at night, especially as a female.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

SRISA is a wonderful program with truly excellent staff members. I felt at home from the moment I arrived. Everyone goes out of their way to make sure all is well with you, and they truly care about your wellbeing. The people make SRISA what it is, and that is something special.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $150
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Prepare meals at home and avoid going out too much, as living in Florence is pretty expensive!

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? 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? Italian II
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? 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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • amazing and supportive staff
* What could be improved?
  • a more diverse teaching staff would be awesome
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew more about how Florence is really is - a tourist city with a host of social issues. There are always tourists everywhere, pervading every waking moment of existence, and that does take away from the authentic Italian experience. Italy as a whole experiences a variety of social issues like racism, homophobia, and xenophobia, and I wish I had known more about common stance on these issues. However, this is not SRISA's fault, it's Italy's. SRISA itself is great!

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!