The Summer of my Dreams Past Review

By (Organizational Studies, University of Michigan - Ann Arbor) - abroad from 05/31/2012 to 07/14/2012 with

Syracuse University: Florence - Syracuse University in Florence, Summer

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained a better understanding of both the Italian and American cultures, as well as how the rest of the world views America. I now have a deeper appreciation for the values we hold dear--freedom, personal liberty, etc--as well as for the extent of the knowledge we can gain from other cultures (specifically, Americans would do well to adopt Italian notions about family, love, and a work-life balance). Simply spending time as a foreigner was eye-opening and certainly will help me refrain from judging foreigners in America. Was it worthwhile? YES, YES, YES, go study abroad in the place of your dreams!

Review Photos

Syracuse University: Florence - Syracuse University in Florence, Summer Photo Syracuse University: Florence - Syracuse University in Florence, Summer Photo

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?

The homestay was the best experience about my study abroad program. Not only did I receive insight into Italian culture--I got the opportunity to build relationships with the members of my host family.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I felt very safe in Florence. Girls should know that Italian men are very forward in their approach to women. If you walk quickly and with purpose, they are less likely to bother you.

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? $115
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Go to supermarkets instead of trattorias for lunch (there is one called Sidi's right near SU Florence's campus.) They make sandwiches to order at the deli counter and sell pasta dishes for about 3.50 euros each. Most trattorias will charge 5 to 10 euros for a decent portion.


* 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 276
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? Do a homestay!! Also participate in the internship-for-credit program.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • 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?
  • Homestay experience
  • Art History and Cross-Cultural Psychology courses
* What could be improved?
  • Summer language course offerings
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That there would not, in fact, be an advanced Italian course offered, despite what it says on the website. This was because not enough students were interested.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Masterpieces of Italian Art

Course Department: History of Art
Instructor: Jane Zaloga
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Very challenging course- I learned so much. We visited museums and churches nearly every class session and saw a large variety of famous art work in person. Field trips included an overnight trip to Rome and a day trip to Siena.
Credit Transfer Issues: