I want more Italy only to travel on my own! Past Review

By (Architecture., Kansas State University) for

University of Texas at Austin: Study in Italy

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Of course!

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.

The study center was run by two unorganized women that were always too busy to help. I however, couldn't express my love for the History professor Giovanni Pasquale. He was an amazing and caring professor that taught us so much knowledge without adding unnecessary assignments. We all loved attending that class on Monday morning, and that is a rare thing! The studio workload expected was a little too much for how often we had studio and how little the professors helped us.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The program was lacking in resources and organization. There was little organized contact with Italian culture outside one time visits with the mayor or the english speaking meetings with Italians in high school. There were not enough Italians attending that to converse with all students of Santa Chiara.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I had bed bugs the first week and the second. Being moved from room to room is difficult for a student searching for home in a foreign country. The classes were held in the study center, the same as the living situation, which sometimes caused us to not leave the building for an entire day, leaving our only interactions with Americans. The conditions were freezing cold in the winter, I wore three sweaters indoors during dinner. Sometimes a coat. It was a beautiful space and courtyard, but it was too chilly to really enjoy it most of the semester. The town had no nightlife. It was almost a ghostown in January and just started livening toward May as we left.

* Food:

The food was excellent and wonderful. Each meal was a delight of local flavors and fruits of the season. I loved the ladies in the kitchen. However, I gained ten pounds eating all that wonderful food! Lighter lunches would be appreciated, and a variety of soups. I only wish they would have taught us how to make their food.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

My favorite event was organized only by Jim Calcarra, nothing to do with the program, just the faculty with us. A visit to to an architecturally rehabilitated resort and a winery close to Siena.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

The Farmacias were the only source of medicine and care. Most people were sick often in the dorms.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No


* 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)

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Food was the most expensive, especially since there was no where provided for the students to cook on the weekends. It adds up and you end up eating not so cheap unhealthy food because it is all that is open.


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

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? The nervous student, prone to culture shock should attend this program because it stays fairly internal without much adventure unless you take it upon yourself to set aside the money to take individual trips. I did this and those were the best memories.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

History of Science and Technology

Course Department:
Instructor: Giovanni Pasquale
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Wonderful instruction and passion.
Credit Transfer Issues: