Program Could Use Improvement Past Review

By (Environmental Law, Wellesley College) - abroad from 01/25/2018 to 05/18/2018 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I definitely became more independent. It was worthwhile because I was able to meet new friends outside of Wellesley and travel a lot.

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Loved my host family, they were so kind and caring and made me feel at home.

* 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 needed to be given a shot while I was there, and I had the prescription with me. The school set up an appointment for me to get the shot but I had to walk an hour to get to the medical office. When I arrived, they had no idea what I was talking about and did not speak English, so it took a while to communicate what I needed when I thought the school had already done so.

* Safety:

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No

This program was very disorganized, and I feel that I could have had a better educational experience in another program. However, I loved living with a host family in Italy and I was able to travel a lot.


* 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? Around 40 euros


* 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? Intermediate
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Italian 202
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? Have conversations with anyone you can and really 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

  • 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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Friends
  • Sustainability classes
  • Host family
* What could be improved?
  • Organization of the school
  • Structure of classes
  • Length of class meetings- shorter
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew how much time I would have to spend each week doing busywork for my classes and how little I felt that work was benefiting me. My sustainability classes were very interesting, but I still felt that the teachers were just regurgitating the readings for two hours each class. The scheduling with classes was always chaotic and last minute, and teachers would often add assignments that were not on the syllabus the day before they wanted them to be due. I spent a lot of time each week doing homework in order to be able to travel on the weekends.

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.'

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Contemporary Italy

Course Department:
Instructor: Roberto Fineschi
Instruction Language: English
Comments: I had a very poor experience in this class. The instructor was horrible. He was not knowledgeable or well-prepared. We would do hours of reading for each class meeting, and then he would spend the two-hour long class repeating everything the readings had already told us. The class meetings were pointless because of this. There was no discussion whatsoever. I do feel like I learned a lot about Italy's history from the readings though. We were assessed by writing "papers" that were just summaries of the readings. We also had a midterm and a final exam, where we were required to use up all of the lines in the essay section in order to get full credit- which he did not make clear in the instructions of the exam.
Credit Transfer Issues: The classes from this program transfer 1:1 back to Wellesley but I am also hoping to use this class as my history distribution- still waiting on department approval.