Emma - CIS Australia July in Florence

B Advanced Humanities (Honours)
Winter 2023
I was able to work with people from a variety of backgrounds and at the same time find myself immersed in the culture of the city I studied in through my teachers.


I wanted to fully grasp the opportunities available to me in order to enhance my uni experience and also to gain new perspectives


Personal Development

I was able to meet some incredible people who I was able to then share my experiences with but most importantly I was able to grow individually, gaining newfound confidence in both my learning but also my personal life. There is something terrifying about going to the other side of the world all alone but doing so has been one of the greatest decisions of my life and I am a better person because of it.


Academic Development

Learning in a new environment with a different academic structure was challenging yet rewarding. I was able to work with people from a variety of backgrounds and at the same time find myself immersed in the culture of the city I studied in through my teachers. Obviously, language differences and cultural attitudes posed slight obstacles in the beginning, however, they ultimately enhanced my experience overall by creating such a unique and rich learning environment.


Professional Development

Confidence, flexibility, resilience, and problem-solving - these are all skills that naturally arose from my global experience and are attributes I consider to be essential to my identity as I look towards future employability.



Overall, as I included personal travel in my journey the overall costs were higher than most, however, for the exchange itself through CISAustralia the course fees totalled $7,000 and my personal expenses including food and experiences over the 3 weeks were around $2,000. The larger sum covered by CISAustralia included my enrolment, accommodation, meal vouchers (10 per week), resources for my classes, etc., and as such, I found the only costs left up to me were those that would enhance my trip such as dining out and visiting attractions. Traveling can definitely be done on any sort of budget, I personally chose to save up significantly beforehand so I could worry less about finances and more about getting the most out of my exchange and I found this to be a really amazing way to do it.



The funding I received helped me to enrich my experience by providing additional funds for me to engage with the cultural features of my city (Florence). Having that money to be able to visit museums, travel around Tuscany, and shop amongst the local merchants provided an entirely new level to my exchange that was so valuable and enjoyable.



CISAustralia organised our accommodation entirely and thus it was both easy and stress-free. Sharing with people from around the world did pose some cultural challenges but it also allowed me to meet some incredible people. The apartment I stayed in specifically was very generous in size and had all the amenities necessary with a very quant Italian charm about it. I would highly recommend aiming to find a place in shared accommodation if your exchange allows as while having your own space is nice, the experience of sharing your life with people from all across the globe for 3 weeks is so unique and special.



I did a cooking class in Tuscany with an Italian nonna and I don't think I have ever had so much fun - my course was amazing and I genuinely loved every minute of it but the greatest value of an exchange is the opportunity you have to immerse yourself in a culture so different from your own and I recommend seizing every moment possible.


Advice/Top Tips

  • Plan plan plan (it can seem tedious at the time but knowing where you're going and having the comfort of a trip pre-planned makes your exchange much more enjoyable)
  • Seize every opportunity (be a 'Yes' man, you are only there for a matter of weeks, don't let things pass you by, you can sleep on the plane home!)
  • Talk to the university staff (some of our best restaurant and activity recommendations came from the staff at the uni reception desk and they were so accommodating to everybody so use them as a resource! they are there to help)