My first piece of advice is, if you are hesitant about going…GO! You will not regret it. Italy is an amazing country with a beautiful language, and culture and people. With the particular program I went with through the University of New Hampshire you stay in a town called Ascoli Piceno which just so happens to be one of the most amazing towns in Italy (although I will admit I am quite biased after having lived there for three months).
Another piece of advice I would give them is to travel as much as you can while you are there. Traveling in amongst the various European countries is fairly cheap if you are already in Europe.
But even if you don’t have any desire to see the rest of Europe then just travel around Italy. While Ascoli is amazing, my experience in Italy wouldn’t have been even half of what it was if I didn’t travel all around Italy as well.