The greatest experience of my life Past Review

By (Finance And Economics, Bentley University) - abroad from 08/22/2012 to 12/15/2012 with

Wells College: Florence Study Abroad Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained and learned too much to put into words. This past semester has been my biggest growing period since I started school. The ability to see the world, learn about a new culture, and meet new people has been the most valuable things about the experience. I really cannot put into words how life changing it has been.

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.

Some professors were stronger in English than others.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My specific host apartment was outside of central Florence. I had to take a bus to the center everyday, and since the bus stopped running at 1am, I usually had to walk back home on the nights I stayed out late. The walk was about 40 minutes from the Duomo.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I saw the school's nurse for prescription eye drops, and the process was just easy and convenient.

* Safety:

As a guy, I never ran into any problems. However, many of the girls I talked to were approached and/or victims of pick pocketing.

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)

I thought I managed my budget very well. However, with travel costs, my weekly expenses typically exceeded $200

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $300+
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Just be smart. Pretty much everything (flights, hostels, food, etc) can be very reasonably priced if the student is patient and smart about purchases.


* 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

Florence is more Americanized due to frequent tourist activity. Therefore, a student did not have to speak Italian in shops and such to get by. You could theoretically get by the entire semester without learning a single word of Italian. If a student embraces the language, then it is very easy to learn. Living with a host family helped me learn as well.

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? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? High School Level Spanish
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? The best way to learn is to use it practically. If you embrace the language, it is much easier to pick up.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* 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?
  • Traveling Europe freely
  • Meeting new people; both local and American
  • Trying new food
* What could be improved?
  • n/a
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Embrace everything you see and experience for the fifteen weeks you are there. Things will never be the same when you come back.

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 Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.