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Athena Study and Intern Abroad in Florence, Italy
Athena Study Abroad participants doing the love sign Athena Study Abroad participants doing the love sign

Athena Study and Intern Abroad in Florence, Italy

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Adventure of a lifetime!

Athena Study Abroad made the process of preparing to study abroad an absolute breeze! I don't know how I would have been able to do it all without the help of their wonderful representatives, their organized system and their constant reminders of how close I was to making my study abroad dreams come true. Thank you Athena for helping me embark on the adventure of a lifetime!

The travel program "Bus2Alps" allowed me to travel around Italy with ease and in a fun and safe manner. Also the opportunity to interact with students at my Host University (LDM) from all over the world was a great experience as well.

Christina did a wonderful job with answering all of my questions and was very helpful both academically and non academically during my time abroad. This course was more challenging than one I would take at my home university because it was very highly intensive. We were in Italy for such a short amount of time that I feel as though the professor was trying to squeeze in a semesters worth of information into 4 weeks.

Some challenges and adjustments that I made were; The idea of time, time management, "Italy Time". Italians are much more leisurely than Americans are therefore things went slower than I am used to! Defiantly took some getting used to! As well as the language barrier was the largest challenge that I faced on a daily basis.

During my free time I raveled, walked around the city, went to museums, tried new restaurants, found cool and unique places to shop, went to the park to read, enjoyed the sunset in beautiful spots, etc. As a twenty-something female, as long as I was not walking alone at night I felt safe, which was always the case. The men in Italy were more aggressive than the men in the US but that was expected. I think that as long as you are not ignorant about the possibility of something happening to you while out and about and you are aware of your surroundings, then you will be okay. Just be smart.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

It is almost difficult to put it into words

I am very appreciative of being able to go and explore on my own when I used to even be scared to explore my own hometown. The freedom and life you get when you study abroad cannot be compared to anything, it is almost difficult to put it into words.

I got to know Athena Abroad because I had been referred to from a friend and it was very easy to communicate with reps if I ever had any questions. What made my experience worthwhile was getting to know the culture, the people, EVERYTHING. The only challenges that I encountered were transportation from airport to wherever you are going. A well as struggling sometimes finding the bus, train, etc.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Amazing experience

Such an amazing experience, and the help of Athena Abroad made my trip so much better!

In the beginning it was difficult to find where our classes were. The directions were not as clear, and this resulted into my housemates and I getting a little lost on our first day of class. But since this was my first time abroad, this experience has given me a better understanding on how to travel abroad and how every culture is different. This experience has made me want to travel much more because there is so much to explore.

My ART 180 class had some challenges, however the class was engaging. We toured multiple cathedrals which was interesting and informative. My FAS 100 course was engaging as well, however I wish we spent more time exploring the fashion world in Florence and visited more places. Overall, both classes were informative and engaging.

The experience of living on our own in an apartment right down the street from the Duomo was incredible. It gave us a sense of what it is truly like to live in another country. Everyone was very kind and willing to help my housemates and I with anything we needed. Our location and my roommates worked very well. Some of the appliances were not in the best form, such as the shower, however it was a very nice place to live for the time we were there. Although I had to adjust to living above a bar and it got very loud some nights and was difficult to sleep, it was bearable later in the trip. I also had to adjust to the money. I had to keep telling myself Euro money is worth a bit more than American money.

The on-site administration were very helpful, however there were some times where I felt the instructions could have been explained better. For example, about how to get to our classes on the first day.

During our free time my friends and I would shop and try different places to eat. We visited the bridge and the gardens. We tried to visit most of all of Florence with our time there. We also chose to go to Cinque Terre one weekend which was a lot of fun. Overall, I felt save in Florence. Our advisors made it very clear how we should interact with the foreigners which made us feel more comfortable.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Community

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Academics

    9

Beautiful Semester Abroad

I absolutely loved every second while living in Florence. I met amazing people, I ate incredibly delicious food, I took a cooking class and learned some key tricks of the best Italian chefs, and I traveled a ton! You can honestly get lost in the city when you simply just wonder around. There is so much to see and do all the time. Also Florence made it really easy to travel, whether it be hopping on a train and going to a nearby village or town, or taking a bus to the Pisa airport and traveling all around Europe, it was all so easy and affordable. The program I went with, Athena was very helpful in the entire process and I felt they were always there if I needed them. Overall I had such an incredible experience abroad and I would go back in a heart beat if I could, and one day I will be back!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    9

Unforgettable experiences!

Studying in Florence, Italy was something really amazing, and I could not have done it without Athena! Everybody I came in contact with there helped me every step of the way, from checking up on my application to checking in during the semester abroad. Lorenzo de' Medici has some really amazing passionate professors and I loved going there. Florence is a beautiful city that's easy to adapt to, I loved almost every minute of it. Thanks to Athena I was able to travel to 8 different countries and more than 10 different Italian cities, and I'll never forget it!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Community

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Academics

    10

Completely Life Changing. I could not have selected a better program.

I had the absolute best time of my life in Italy! My apartment was located right in the center of Florence, my classes took place all throughout the city, and I had the freedom to structure my time abroad however I liked! My roommates quickly became some of my best friends and we spent the semester exploring the city during the week and the rest of Europe on the weekends.

The Athena staff was super helpful throughout the entire process and really gave me the personalized attention I was looking for. I could not speak more highly of this program!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Wow! I love Florence

Wow! I love Florence.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    7

  • Community

    10

An Unforgetable Experience

I had the time of my life while I was studying abroad in Florence. I would do it again in a heartbeat! The school I attended called Lorenzo de Medici (LDM) had teachers that were willing to help out with any questions I had and were very enthusiastic about their subject areas. LDM also has advisors that are very helpful if there are any types of problems that arise while you are abroad.

I only had classes three days a week, so I was able to travel around Europe almost every weekend. I got to go to Venice, Pisa, Rome, London, Paris, Prague, Athens, Capri, and so many other wonderful places.

I feel so much more independent after being in a foreign place by myself for four months, and not knowing anyone else that was going to be abroad.

Now that I am back in the United States, all I can do is think about all the wonderful places I saw and how much more there is still to see. I am just waiting for an opportunity to get back over to Europe.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

my month in Florence

Do you love art history? Then Florence, Italy is a pardise for fellow art history aficionados. Enjoy seeing art that should be preserved in museums displayed outside to be viewed 24/7. Eat some of the best food you can hardly imagine. Most of all, take your time in walking around this vast city and indulge of what Florence is- a safe-haven for people figuring out who they are and what they want to do.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    6

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    10

La Dolce Vita--Four months in Florence!

Choosing to study abroad in Florence with Athena was the best decision of my life. I couldn't have picked a better city, or a better program, with more personalized dedicated service. Athena partners with smaller schools abroad to make sure their students are getting the best, individualized treatment. At LdM, the classes were very small and it allowed me to have personal one-on-one contact with my professors and classmates that was invaluable, especially coming from a large university back home. With Athena you also get two free weekend trips to amazing locations like the French Riviera, the Alps, the Italian Riviera, Venice, Capri, etc. that are completely paid for by the program cost. The services Athena offers are just so wonderful for the price of the program. I did a lot of research before I made my decision to go with Athena, and they truly offered the most for your money, not to mention inestimable dedication to quality and personalized attention. I cannot express how grateful I am to Athena for making my experience so wonderful. Living in Italy, immersing myself in a new culture, traveling around Europe, learning new skills (homemade lasagna anyone?), meeting incredible, life-long friends, and opening my eyes to a new way of living would not have been possible without Athena's incredible program and support.

Academics:
There are SO many course offerings with Athena! I took classes in my major but also was able to do take some courses that I would never get to take at my school back home, like a modern Italian cooking class and a conservation class where we actually conserved Hellenistic objects from Etruria!

Living Situation:
I lived with other American students in an apartment on the fifth (sixth American!) floor in the city center. We were across the street from a gelateria (yum!), one block from the David, two blocks from the Duomo, and about a 10-15 min walk away from school. The location couldn't have been more perfect! There were a few small grocery stores by our place but the Mercato was an easy 10 min walk away. The apartment was spacious and fully-furnished and had all the pots and pans I needed to cook delicious meals!

Cultural Immersion:
It's difficult to feel fully immersed in a touristy city like Florence, but LdM tried to get students to partake in cultural activities by allowing students to sign up to go to local soccer games, take chocolate-tasting classes, learn how to make gelato, or join a wine-drinking club to learn more about our host country's culture. These were all great ways to get involved in some of Florence's main activities, but if you want to feel fully immersed, my suggestion is to spend less time with Americans and more time meeting locals and engaging in conversation with them. Italians are very friendly and will be happy to see you take an interest in their culture!

Program Administration:
Everyone from Athena was very helpful before I departed, answering any and all questions I had, and sending me info about what to pack, how to get my visa, etc. I loved it! The administrators at the LdM campus in Florence were wonderful as well, and always available if I needed anything at all.

Health and Safety:
As long as you don't walk alone at night or walk around drunk, Florence is a very safe city. I never felt unsafe at anytime while I was there.

Social Life:
Florence has a great nightlife. YAB, Twice, Central Park...there are plenty, and you'll find your favorites once you get there. Aperitivos are a great way to meet people too--that's how I met a local and began practicing my language skills and learning more about the culture. For about 7-9 euros you can order a drink of your choice and browse their buffet for some delicious appetizers.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    0

  • Community

    0

Athena Study Abroad in Florence, Italy

Florence is a small city with a lot to offer! With Athena, the planning and organizing aspect of it was a breeze. They have a large amount of class options taught in small classrooms by amazing instructors! The tuition includes housing (mine was in Piazza del Duomo, literally across from the Duomo) as well as two field trips, cell phone rental, orientation, international health insurance, transcripts and the opportunity to travel and live! Athena's personalized service made me feel comfortable and taken care the entire time--it was a great program!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    0

  • Living Situation

    0

  • Cultural Immersion

    0

  • Program Administration

    0

  • Health & Safety

    0

  • Community

    0

'My experience with Athena was fantastic....

'My experience with Athena was fantastic. I was surprised by the level of great personal attention we received from the staff -- it was very clear how much they care about the students.

Even though the program went smoothly with no problems at all, it was nice to know we had someone to count on in case anything went wrong! We knew we were in good hands.'

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    0

  • Living Situation

    0

  • Cultural Immersion

    0

  • Program Administration

    0

  • Health & Safety

    0

  • Community

    0

I am extremely happy that I chose Athena...

I am extremely happy that I chose Athena. Everyone was friendly and incredibly helpful throughout the entire process.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    0

  • Living Situation

    0

  • Cultural Immersion

    0

  • Program Administration

    0

  • Health & Safety

    0

  • Community

    0

'I cannot even begin to explain how much...

'I cannot even begin to explain how much everything has changed since I went abroad. I have realized that it really is a necessity for all students to see the world from another point of view.'

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    0

  • Living Situation

    0

  • Cultural Immersion

    0

  • Program Administration

    0

  • Health & Safety

    0

  • Community

    0

The Classes Were Small.

'The classes were small, so there was a lot of one-on-one time with the professors. All of the professors seemed very interested in teaching us all of the knowledge they had on the course being taken.'

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    0

  • Living Situation

    0

  • Cultural Immersion

    0

  • Program Administration

    0

  • Health & Safety

    0

  • Community

    0

I had an amazing time abroad.

'I had an amazing time abroad. I lived in Florence and traveled all over Italy, and to Amsterdam and to Barcelona. Thanks for everything!'

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    9

I gained a greater appreciation for Western culture

I gained a greater appreciation for Western culture. Athena had the location I wanted with classes that I was interested in that is why I chose them. It was hard to balance 6 credit hours with travel but both classes were very informative and went in depth very quickly into topics. I did not have the time to do all of the reading, travel and relax as much as I wanted.

Our advisor was able to answer my questions and make some recommendations for food. During my free time I explored a couple museums and attractions. I would occasionally go out to eat with my housemates. When I made an effort to order food in basic Italian, some waiters would switch to English and speak only English from then on while others would speak Italian and translate afterwards if necessary, which I preferred. Although I was warned against pickpockets, I did not experience any trouble in that regard.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Work Environment

    9

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

My view in life changed drastically

My perspective on life, and my life goals has changed drastically. Traveling and seeing what the world has to offer is an amazing experience and helps you find yourself and where you want to be in the future. Being abroad helps you be more cultured and see the worldly differences.

The class I took abroad was a perfect fit for me. I took the built environment of Florence and my teacher was such a great lady and was very knowledgable in her field. The course was interesting and engaging in that we had both lecture and field trips everyday. Navigating the train stations at first was pretty difficult. The language barrier could be difficult at times. I would suggest to future students and warn them about how much money they will be spending just on food and museums alone.

On my free time I went to local bars and cafes at night time. We went out to dinner a lot and just walked around. Also went to museums and day trips around Italy. I usually felt safe around the city at night. Sometimes the Italians would be pushy towards American women.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

I learned that there is so much

The chance to have an apartment in the city really made the short 3 weeks feel like a more permanent residence. My understanding of the world has broadened so much. I learned that there is so much more out there to the world than just the small part of US I have always lived in. It was very eye opening to different cultures.

Athena was the first one I looked into and seemed to be the best fit for j-term. I loved my course. I chose it because I am interested in architecture history and it proved to be the best match. I found it easy because the info we learned we got to actually see in person, therefore it was easier to remember than just learning from slides.

Regarding my living situation, Everything was great. my whole building was all students so I got to meet an amazing group of friends that made the experience something I will never forget. I had to adjust my eating times and the language though.

During my free time I explored the city, went to restaurants and traveled throughout Italy. Safety was completely fine as long as you stuck with a friend always. Nightlife was great, I met a lot of people this way, the cultural events were also amazing to see, like the Epiphany Day.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    10

It was a challenge

Simply traveling in another country while on my own had an amazing impact. Learning how to do everything on my own was incredible and challenging. I learned a great deal. My understanding of the world has certainly been enhanced. Some challenges I encountered was learning the customs of Italy. For example, having to ask the waiter for the check instead of them just bringing it over to us.

I found my classes to be exactly what they should have been for a study abroad course. My accommodation was great and during my free time I walked around and traveled to different cities.

Overall Rating

7/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    6

Athena Provided Authentic Experience!

I always wanted to study abroad in Italy! I went to my university's study abroad office and saw they only had one option in Italy. I wanted more out of my study abroad experience than my school was offering, that is when I came across different outside agencies to study abroad through. I found Athena Study abroad and I am so glad that I did!

Athena worker's truly care about the students they work with. My advisor (Brooke) addressed me by name, worked with me during the application progress, promptly called me back and responded to emails, and even helped me when I had a few struggles while I was abroad.

Athena also offered field trips to their students which was an amazing experience and bonus to see more than what my study abroad city had to offer!

If you're looking to customize your study abroad experience to the fullest, working with people that know what they're doing and are there to help you with anything that comes up, Athena study abroad is the way to go!

Overall Rating

7/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    0

  • Cultural Immersion

    0

  • Program Administration

    0

  • Health & Safety

    0

  • Community

    0

Great time

So much fun.