Beautiful Siena yet very unorganized program Past Review

By (Global Environmental Studies, Clark University - Worcester) - abroad from 01/29/2014 to 05/11/2014 with

Siena School for Liberal Arts: Siena - Semester & Summer Programs

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a language and how the world outside the states functions. I'm grateful for getting the chance to leave the country however I believe the clark students laid far too much for what the program specifically had to offer us.

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.

The school did not have desks for its students. The library was next to another classroom with a plastic wall in between so it was often difficult to study.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

There was one man who was basically on charge of all admin. He did what he could as he was also a professor for several of the courses and had a second job. Admin was very unorganized.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The first housing situation I was placed in was not okay. I was the only student living outside of Siena and was not made aware of this until move in day. It was nearly impossible to get To know other students or the city because the last bus home at night was two hours before dinner so I had to rely on my host father for rides. He was from Boston and although he spoke Italian, we spoke English every night. He was also one of the few professors at the school. When I tried to switch I was given a very hard time and told I should stay because he was a "dear friend" of the admin. My 2nd family however was wonderful, caring and helped me learn the language.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The program was all but two American a students.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

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


* 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)


* 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? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Advanced
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? Live with a family or get a language partner.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* 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?
  • Italian class
* What could be improved?
  • Admin
  • Classes
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Only about 30 American students in the program. No travel time: class everyday from 9-6.

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'