Work/Study in Florence Gives a New Persective Past Review

By (Studio Art/Biology, Trinity University) for

Syracuse University: Florence - Syracuse University in Florence, Summer

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Absolutely-- I feel like I definitely want to spend time during my career traveling. I have actually adjusted my post-graduation plans so that I can spend time abroad.

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 absolutely loved my professor- she had a lot of life experience and had spent a lot of time in Florence, so she had a very broad understanding of the abroad experience. Likewise, she was well educated and had a good grasp of the material that she was teaching us. The course included many field trips, which allowed us to travel about Italy to improve our understanding of the material.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I felt quite well prepared for the Study Abroad experience.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Although Syracuse offered housing with a host family in Florence, I came in contact with a host family through a friend who had served as an Au Pair for a famliy friend of the people that I lived with. We exchanged emails for months until finally deciding to work abroad. In the process I decided to take a class while I was working, which I am extremely glad of.

* Food:

The most economical option is to eat at home because the host mothers are usually very good cooks, but I enjoyed grabbing snacks at cafes and most grocery stores have delis where you can buy sandwiches and such.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

My program held a lot of cultural integration events including lecturers, wine tastings, free food, field trips all over the country. It was a great experience and I tried to take advantage of everything that I could.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I felt very safe... like I said earlier, people should always have a plan and always be prepared when they go out but 99% of the time, Florence was extremely fun and safe.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? I typically spent one hundred Euro throughout the week on food, transportation and entertainment if I was being frugal, but if you add in shopping and trips to other cities, I would say that I spent somewhere around $1500 to $2000 over six weeks... not to mention the phone bill which adds a nice chunk of change afterward.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Make sure you are completely set with an international credit card, spare euros, spare American money (at least $100) for after you return, and an international cellphone plan before you leave. Always plan to spend less than you can afford because you will probably end up having unexpected expenses. I had a 95 euro bus ticket because I didn't validate it when I was taking a five-minute bus ride and I can assure you that I had not anticipated paying for that!


How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

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

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Making to friends and understanding a new culture
* What could be improved?
  • More dining options on campus
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? If you are given the opportunity to do anything new or exciting while abroad (and you can afford it) then don't say no!

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

HOA-300: Leonardo Da Vinci

Course Department: 300
Instructor: Jane Zaloga
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This was an extremely interesting course and was very applicable to my experience in Florence. As a science and art major, it was fascinating to learn about someone who excelled in both of those areas. The material was informative and quite eye-opening. I have a great appreciation for the man and the technology of the time period.
Credit Transfer Issues: