Worth it. Past Review

By (Higher Education Administration, St. Cloud State University) - abroad from 05/13/2012 to 05/27/2012 with

St. Cloud State University: Italy - HIED 664 – Critical Issues Seminar & HIED790 – Critical Issues in Italian Higher Ed

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Yes! (See my Review Title.) I learned so much - it's impossible to sum up. I learned about exchanging money, different foods, different ways of spending time, different styles of dress, the history and culture of another country - so, so, so much. A trip like this should be mandatory for any student of higher ed.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

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?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Fortunately, our group did not encounter a need for extensive healthcare. At one point, I had a headache, and the local pharmacy had aspirin; good outcome.

* Safety:

At no point did I feel unsafe. We were well-coached in advance by our administrative leader/professor, and we knew what to do should anything occur.

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)

* Was housing included in your program cost? Yes
* Was food included in your program cost? Yes
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $40 US dollars
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Find a grocery store, and buy grocery items there and store a few things in the kitchen area of your housing. (instead of constantly going to pricey cafes)


* 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? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? I completed NO Italian; however, I was/am knowledgeable in French, which helped
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? Get a phrase book in advance and study it!

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* 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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The day-trips/ the planned cultural and archeological outings
  • The local food!
  • The housing was much more private and comfortable than I expected; I enjoyed that.
* What could be improved?
  • I wish I had brought athletic shoes; my feet hurt from all the walking.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? We were urged to "pack light," which I agree; however, I wish I had packed one more pair of shoes - athletic/tennis-shoes.