I chose SAI because this was one of the most popular programs through Ole Miss. They also provided coursework that I could use for my major. The locations they offered were also great. I had always wanted to travel to Italy, so having the option to study in Florence was a dream come true.
Anne Morgan Carney is a senior at the University of Mississippi where she is pursuing a degree in Hospitality Management. She attended Florence University of the Arts in Spring 2017 to further her education by taking food and wine courses. She enjoys planning her vacations around the coolest places to eat, and seldom eats at the same place twice!
Why did you choose this program?
What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?
My university helped me with nearly everything. Whether it was helping me book my flight or making sure my classes were in order, their help was instrumental in having a successful semester.
While they didn't set up the meetings for my visa or other documents, they had the correct information to point me in the right direction. They put me in contact with a travel agency to help me book my flight, which made it a lot easier because the company was very familiar with study abroad students.
What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?
Be sure to register for classes as early as possible because your favorites may fill up. If your school has a specific date they let you know you've been approved to study abroad, go ahead and ask if you can apply to FUA. That way you can go ahead and pick your classes. You'll be glad you did when you're in the chocolate class everyone else wanted.
What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?
For me, I typically had classes four days a week. The classes would last anywhere from 1-2 hours. After class, I would usually meet up with one of my roommates for lunch, which was almost always a panino from one of our favorite places.
Then, we would either explore the city, or pick a coffee shop for study time. Once my classes were completed and all assignments were turned in, the weekends were free for travel. Whether it was a city close by, or catching a quick flight to another European country, we were traveling nearly every single weekend.
Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?
I am very close with my family, and I was really worried about being away from them for four months. However, I had so much fun while abroad, my worries quickly drifted away. My independence grew, and I worried less. It did help that I could FaceTime them every once in awhile.
What is your favorite thing about Florence, Italy?
I absolutely loved the daily and weekend markets. In Florence, every Tuesday morning down by the Arno River, the Market Isolotto sets up from 7-2. Local vendors set up booths with clothes, food, housewares, etc. It is the perfect spot to find great things that are unique to Florence.
The Central Market, which is open daily, is also a great place to visit. It is located a few blocks from the Duomo (Florence's famous cathedral,) and has amazing selections of fresh produce as well as delicious Italian dishes you can't get anywhere else.