A changing and unforgettable experience Past Review

By (Northern Arizona University) - abroad from 01/21/2016 to 05/13/2016 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained a whole new outlook on life. I learned to hold onto small moments and go on more adventures and discover new things . I also found a new passion for the italian culture and language and do not want to stop and want to go back. I also gained the travel bug and now want to go to other areas in the world and help out and experience the different cultures all around the world. This trip was all the worthwhile and am so lucky I was able to go on this trip.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I learned a lot from my italian language class and was able to speak a lot and understand quickly in 4 months! I also loved teaching english at a catholic school in Siena and was a great experience!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I loved all of the administration and still keep in touch with some of them!! They made a huge impact on my experience with the day trips and being a great resource and mentor!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I was lucky to have the perfect host family that was the right fit for me and I got super close with! I would still want to keep in touch with them and even go back and visit!

* Food:

The food was beyond words and just fantastic!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Since Siena is such a small city, i really felt like i was a local in the city and really had a great sense of culture because of my home stay, the college and the people.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I did not have any issues with healthcare while there but some doctor offices you could be seen free two days in a week so it was okay.

* Safety:

I felt very safe in this city and there was really no crime when I was there. It was such a small city and community, that I never worried about not being safe and my host family always made sure to check in on what I was doing.

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

I would have not wanted to live in a bigger city in Europe and loved the culture in Siena and that you knew where everything was after a while . I also would not have gotten to teach in an italian school and had that experience or met my host family at all.


* 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)

I went in with my own money from my job at NAU and then had to rely on my parent's money but did well with budgeting there because a lot of stuff was cheap and affordable and with good deals!

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 50 or less a week
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Make sure to get as much as you can for the week instead of buying a meal for lunch every single day and to buy in bulk if possible.


* 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

We were in a small city so you had to use the language to talk to others and it was just nice to be seen as a local if you spoke in italian and did not just talk in english. On the program, with the other study abroad students we spoke in english and with outings, we would speak to the admin in english too because it was easier to say more in our 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? nono
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? The best way to practice the language is to use it whenever you can and even if you have trouble speaking in the language to just try and make a mistake then to not speak at all and to practice with your host family and other locals.

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

  • 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?
  • Host Family
  • Learning Italian
  • Centered around Family and Friends
* What could be improved?
  • Less credits going in
  • Some aspect of Special Education for me
  • Living closer in the city
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I didnt really have many expectations going in which helped my experience a lot and did not make me dissappointed.

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.