A Home Away from Home January 04, 2019

By (University of Hartford) - abroad from 04/24/2019 to 11/19/2019 with

University of Georgia: Studies Abroad Program in Cortona, Italy

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My artistic ability grew as well as my independence.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

All of my classes were challenging, enjoyable, and interesting but my Art history class should have had more home work and a different testing style. it was very stressful to be graded only on two tests and two essays

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Everyone was friendly but trying to get all my information into there s

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Room were clean and comfortable, with a bathroom in each room. House keeping staff was friendly and helpful. the grounds are beautiful. the wifi was awful though, had to walk to town for internet. on the very top of a steep mountain. washer left weird stains on my clothes. no dryers so everything was line dried (which was fine until the fall when it was rainy and foggy

* Food:

Toninos was very yummy, the salad was soapy though

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

i felt at home in the town

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I’ve had problems with tonsillitis my whole life so when I got it in Italy I thought maybe I could get rid of it with sleep and soup,I told my professors and admin. After a few days I realized I was going to need a Dr so I told administration. A few days later An admin came to my door to tell me that They’d take me to the Dr at 3 and to meet them in town then. At this point my I was sleeping all day and night, tonsils were so swollen I couldn't close my mouth, due to extreme pain and closing of my windpipe, I was so weak I could barely walk to the bathroom in my room. I was having muscle cramps that were so painful through my whole body and lasted for long amounts of time.And I was expected to walk for 15 minutes into town in the wind and rain. When i made it down there a professor met me and another student to take us to the Dr. I was expecting to get in a car or something but we walked another five blocked uphill in the weather to find that it was closed. So the other student and I walked back through town and sat in a cafe for an hour. Then my professor came back and walked us back to the DR office. This place should not have been a doctor’s office it was a 6 flights of stairs in pitch black darkness. The office was unorganized and the woman behind the counter forgot to put out number for people to take so everyone was clamoring to get a low number and be seen first regardless of the order they entered. After an hour it was our turn. My professor translated for me and the Dr took a look at my tonsils and prescribed amoxicillin and jabbed at the bulge on my neck at a joke. This made me yelp and start to cry. We left the Dr picked up our prescription and walked back up the enormous hill in the rain,whipping wind, at night. By the time we made it back to the school i was exhausted,wheezing and gagging (my throat,ears, teeth and jaws were already in so much pain) I went to my room and could only sob. Keep in mind I could barely walk across my room I was in so much pain and felt so weak. I went to the DR October 25, It’s January 4 now and after spending times in the hospital and numerous medicines I’m still not fully cured. My swelling had gone down a little bit and when I went to the ER they told me how I had a high chance of my windpipe closing up. In Italy, my right tonsil pressed against the left one, closing my throat unless I keep my tongue down to make room for air. I should have been admitted that night and getting Iv antibiotics, painkillers, and a steroid started that day. I don't blame them for me still being sick, but even just moving us around in a car would have been more responsible. Now I know that I should have been in a Hospital. That was my worst day of the trip. I missed two weeks of classes and events, and remained sick the rest of the trip.

* Safety:

The town feels very safe but the men are aggressive, and will follow you. Also one of the first nights we found a bag with a gun in it in a dark park at night (after dinner). we went right to the police, they found it, told us it was a gun for fire works, put it back and left it there. It was made out of metal and wood, and was very convincing. it could have been used to hold someone up.

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

I knew I would love Italy and I proved myself right I want to go back as many times as I can in my life

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)

1

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 70-200
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? try to shop for nonparishables incase eating out gets too epencive

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

2, there was a breakfast "practical use" meet up but no class included in the program.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Beginner
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? advanced italian language (highschool)
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? dont rely on a friend who is better at the language to communicate, and if they try tell them you want to do it yourself even if you struggle

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?
  • My professors
  • my view from class
  • the town of cortona
* What could be improved?
  • the admission system (the new online thing doesnt work, i almost didnt come because of it)
  • the internet connection
  • better kitchen appliences/utencils
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? how much walking we'd be doing, I thought my flats would be fine, should have brought sneakers

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.