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England vs Italy - studying abroad Spring 2020

England vs Italy - studying abroad Spring 2020

Jul 12th, 2019, 09:16 PM
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England vs Italy - studying abroad Spring 2020

Hello! I am looking for some advice or personal experiences to help me with my decision in deciding between England or Italy for my study abroad experience in Spring 2020. I will be studying from the months of late January/early February until mid-May/early June. I am super torn between these two countries since they are both so different! I want to be somewhere that I feel welcome and the people are friendly, would love some great day spots to spend studying, and of course a fun night life since I am a college student. Budget is also definitely a concern of mine as I will not be able to work to support daily expenses, food, travel, attraction tickets, etc. Id love any advice to help me choose!!

Last edited by gabriellanicoleeee; Jul 12th, 2019 at 09:20 PM.
gabriellanicoleeee is offline  
Jul 12th, 2019, 09:45 PM
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Is language an issue? Where in England, where in Italy? Cost will depend on location. Weather will likely be better in most of Italy.
MmePerdu is offline  
Jul 12th, 2019, 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by MmePerdu View Post
Is language an issue? Where in England, where in Italy? Cost will depend on location. Weather will likely be better in most of Italy.
No, Im not concerned about language being a problem. I would be studying in Leicester, England which is about 2 hours from London or I would be in Florence, Italy.
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Jul 12th, 2019, 09:53 PM
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Your first consideration should of course be which school best meets your studies/major requirements.

Plus there are many universities in both countries so which cities / universities you are considering make a big difference. I really love England (many prefer Italy) but to be honest Jan/Feb can be tough there. I moved there in Jan years ago, and hated it (being a California girl) with the short days,cold, and damp. But by April I was we'll and truly in love with the place and stayed five years.

That is to say the first couple of months colde be miserable (or not) followed by a lovely Spring (or not) so for such a short term, I'd maybe choose Italy . . . .all things being equal education wise of course.
janisj is offline  
Jul 12th, 2019, 09:55 PM
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Oh our post where at the same time. Between Leicester and Florence I'd probably choose Florence. Both have a vibrant student scene. If you had mentioned London or Edinburgh - I pick one of them over even Florence.
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Jul 12th, 2019, 10:00 PM
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>>the first couple of months colde​​​​​​​ could be miserable . . . <<
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Jul 12th, 2019, 10:04 PM
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It seems you are asking a global general question when what are relevant is the local environment which is not stated. What is the field of study? Is this a dormitory type of accommodation, a home stay, need to find your own apartment, etc.? Are you spending class time with other students from your school, other foreign students, or with local students?

>>> No, Im not concerned about language being a problem.
Is this because the study is in English either case or you are fluent in Italian for the Florence program? If you are not fluent in Italian, are you interested in learning or improving your Italian?
greg is offline  
Jul 13th, 2019, 08:12 AM
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greg asked the right questions. If your major has anything to do with art, I'd go to Florence. If your major is in STEM or business, I'd go to Leicester.
Jean is online now  
Jul 13th, 2019, 08:48 AM
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Florence is a much nicer place than Leicester.
nonconformist2 is offline  
Jul 13th, 2019, 08:49 AM
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That's a good idea (art versus other).

A lot of American students do a study abroad that is really just tor an experience, not serious study. Sometimes they are not even in a regular university. For foreign languages, there is an arrangement for study abroad at a university with special language classes for foreigners, which is a good idea if you wanted to learn that language, but that obviously isn't the case here. Some universities market programs for foreigners (whether you get school credit would have to be checked) as it's a good revenue source for them. I think Leicester does that.

I'd choose based on which one was easiest to go other places you want to see, perhaps, if you really want to explore the UK, that would be Leicester. At least it wouldn't be peak tourist season in Florence as the experience wouldn't be very authentic then. But I think Leicester specializes in sciences for their study abroad curriculum so if you were in the arts, I'd choose the other. If you aren't interested in learning Italian at all, I don't see the point of going to Florence, but I'm not a fan of people who go to foreign countries for long term stays without any interest in their language nor wanting to learn it, unless they have to for a job, of course.
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Jul 13th, 2019, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Christina View Post
. . . I'm not a fan of people who go to foreign countries for long term stays without any interest in their language nor wanting to learn it . . .
Funny. I guess being lucky enough to be somewhere and enjoying oneself isn't enough. It is for me.
MmePerdu is offline  
Jul 14th, 2019, 11:59 AM
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I’ve made sure that my field of study (which is psychology) is available at both universities. My field of study isn’t what I’m basing my decision off of especially since this is going to be my last semester of college and I only have elective credits to fulfill - I’ve made sure I’ve completed all my main courses at my home college. I will be set up with housing through the university whether it’s a dormitory or an apartment, the choice is up to me. I really hope to meet local students and branch out of just being around others studying abroad!
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Jul 14th, 2019, 01:43 PM
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Either would be wonderful. Many (maybe most) Fodorites would choose Florence. But being in the UK and so accessible to places like London and Scotland and Oxford and Paris . . . It would be a tough choice for me.

If weather is a consideration, choose Florence, if networking and touring the UK strikes a chord, choose Leicester.
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Jul 14th, 2019, 05:57 PM
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I was a psychology major so a fine thing to study. I think something more artsy would be more to your liking so would say Florence. I've been in March and spring is wet and chilly where London in February and March were bone chilling to me. So I'd like milder weather and arts aspect. I'm sure the UK could give you the arts too but its just different in Florence and the surrounding areas. Also consider the exchange rate for sterling pound and euro. The pound has dropped but euro still is slightly a better buy.
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Jul 14th, 2019, 10:56 PM
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My BIL teaches in both the UK and Italy (see also Princeton and Philadelphia in years gone by)

His view on the two university experiences is that generally, the teaching of an Italian degree is just not as good as a British degree.

Yes, I know that will upset some on this site, but that is his opinion.

You will also find that a fair few Italian students are living with their parents, in the city of their University, while in the UK the vast majority will have parents far away. This leads to a different vibe.

The weather will be better in Italy.

Out of interest is it Leicester University or De Montfort, they are very different experiences?
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Jul 15th, 2019, 05:57 AM
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When I was in college you had to be fluent in the language of the country where you would be studying abroad. Are you fluent in Italian?
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Jul 15th, 2019, 06:21 AM
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HappyTravlr--That is not the case anymore, at least at some universities. Our son studied in Denmark a couple years ago and all of his engineering courses were taught in English.

gabriellanicoleee-I don't think you can go wrong either either university. This is your last term and with only needing electives, this makes a huge difference. I know when both of our kids were choosing where to go for their study abroad, they went with their gut feeling. It worked out great for both of them. This was fairly recent too, in 2011 and 2015. If you have not already, check with your current university and see if there are any students from there that have gone to either of the ones you are considering. Talk to them and get their input. Our son did that when he was deciding and that was a huge factor that swayed his decision. Plus, he was the only student from his university studying there, which he loved so that he wasn't tempted to stick with friends etc.

FWIW both of our kids are still in touch with friends they met on their study abroad semesters. For our daughter, is has been 9 years and she went and visited one friend last year. Our son had one friend come visit, her first time to the US. You will get back whatever you put into it, which I am sure you already know
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Jul 15th, 2019, 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by nonconformist2 View Post
Florence is a much nicer place than Leicester.
A major understatement if ever there was one!

Purely based upon the two cities ( and I know Leicester reasonably well from years ago) I would choose Florence. Leicester has little going for it. If you had said London or Birmingham or Manchester or Edinburgh it would have been a different matter.
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