Italy! January 04, 2019

By (University of Hartford) - abroad from 08/28/2018 to 11/19/2018 with

University of Georgia: Studies Abroad Program in Cortona, Italy

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned about the different ways that people live. It gave me a more rounded perspective on people worldwide.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

There were certain assignments that I felt were not as engaging or challenging as they could have been.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Fantastic! The admins were always so warm and helpful. They pushed us to make the most of our time in Italy and were always available if we needed assistance in something.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in a suite with two bedrooms and a connected bathroom. I had two roommates and four girls living in the other room, but they were always very respectful about taking turns in the bathroom and generally living together.

* Food:

The restaurant we ate at three nights a week was wonderful. Our vouchers allowed us to try different restaurants and Italian food. We also had three nights a week to cook our own food which was fine, I often prepared meals with one of my friends.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I always felt welcomed by the Italians I interacted with (such as the cashier at the grocery store or the post office workers). I did not spend much time building relationships with the locals because I do not speak much Italian and was busy with schoolwork, but I liked living the way the Italians did and Cortona now feels like a home to me.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Very well--as far as mental health goes there were counselors available for the students, and after a traumatic event the professors made sure we knew we could speak to the counselors about that as well, as well as come to any of the professors themselves.

* Safety:

Cortona is a small town, so I always felt safe walking around, even if I was alone or it was dark out. When we visited bigger cities such as Rome or Naples I was a little more apprehensive, but as long as you use common sense and look out for your friends you should be safe.

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

This was an incredible experience for me as it was my first time leaving the country and experiencing a new culture, I also made one of the best friends I've ever had.

Finances

* 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 mostly only bought necessities in Italy such as food and clothes (I underpacked) so it was easy to live on a lower budget. I spent more when we visited other cities as I wanted to buy souvenirs for myself and my friends back home but everything I bought was affordable for me.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? about 20 Euro

Language

* 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

They made Italian classes available for students who wished to learn to speak basics.

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

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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The beautiful country
  • Seeing famous artworks
  • Meeting new friends
* What could be improved?
  • Communication between professors so assignments are not all due at the same time
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had learned more Italian before leaving for the program.

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.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Renaissance Art History 3020

Course Department: Art History
Instructor: Jennifer Griffiths
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This was the most engaging and interesting Art History class I have taken so far. Doctor Griffiths has a wealth of knowledge and her passion for the subject makes learning from her a joy. She aligned what we were learning with the field trips we would be taking, so we could look at works of art and know their significance and backstory. I participated in this class more than I did in the two art history courses I took at my home university, as Griffiths facilitated a more interactive atmosphere. We were assessed with two exams and two formal analysis papers on artworks we had seen on our field trips.
Credit Transfer Issues: