I decided to study abroad with SRISA because I wanted a study abroad program that fit with my major and my time constraints. As an Art History major, I knew that studying abroad in Italy would provide me with a wide variety of opportunities to see art from the Italian Renaissance right before my eyes.
During the academic school year, I have a job on campus that made it difficult for me to study abroad for a full semester. While this seemed like a disadvantage at first, I soon realized that it was actually an advantage. SRISA provided me with the perfect opportunity to study abroad for eight weeks -- during the summer!
Over the course of my eight weeks in Florence, Italy, I was able to take four different courses with four dedicated and caring professors. In the end, my decision to study abroad with SRISA was one of the best decisions of my life.
I definitely ran into a language barrier in Florence. Coming to Italy, I only knew about three words in Italian. Going to school was not a problem because all of my classes were taught in English. When I went out into the city though, I was faced with the challenge of communicating with Italians around me.
I found out right away that the zones of the city that drew in the most tourists contained a high volume of English-speaking individuals. When I ventured into areas that contained fewer tourists, I was faced with the challenge of interacting with individuals who did not speak English either at all or very well.
This did not inhibit my experience though. I focused on being polite and cordial in Italian to the best of my ability and became a professional at telling people that I was a student studying abroad in Italy.