Student Evaluations from Tones of Florence
The program was the best thing that happened to me during my four years at ISU.
 - Phaiphone Saiyadeth (Business)

The Tones of Florence program was truly everything I hoped it could be and more. Through the environment, the people, the art, the architarah Hembletonecture, and the food, I was completely immersed in the culture of Florence and Italy. It was truly a treat for the senses.
 - Kathryn Strother (Pre-Journalism)

The Tones of Florence is an amazing program. I would recommend this program to anyone who is interested in studying abroad and really wants to learn about a different culture, a different time period, and about themselves.
 - Sarah Hambleton (Music)

The Tones of Florence is a great program that allowed me to broaden my experiences and interests. It was a great opportunity for someone like myself, who isn't in a major that relates to art history or music, to go and experience something so different and so enriching. I encourage students, whether it relates to their major or not, to give the Tones of Florence a good thought before they decide where they want to study abroad!
 - Abby Pettinger (Psychology)

Tones of Florence – Summer, 2005
The Program Overall

Dr. Bleyle makes excellent use of local connections to enrich our activities and make our study abroad trip truly an international learning experience. The readings provided to us were extremely relevant to the locations we visited and greatly complemented our on-site experiences.

It was an unforgettable experience that will be treasured.

This was an amazing experience and, because of it, I would like to pursue other programs ISU has to offer as well as continue to travel and experience other cultures post-graduation.

This was an amazing experience and I would recommend it to all ISU students. It was a great way for me to be able to study abroad without getting off track on my course of study. This course also has made me start to consider spending a semester in Florence to gain greater insight into this incredible area.

This is such a wonderful program with an indispensable director. Dr. Bleyle really knows his stuff when it comes to the Renaissance and Florence, and that makes this experience so special. My time in Florence was indescribable, and I know that is in large part due to Dr. Bleyle’s expertise and passion for educating his students and instilling in them the same love for the city that he holds deep in his heart. The Tones of Florence program is a gem at Iowa State, and it is a much-needed opportunity for students who want to study abroad but cannot afford an entire semester, be it financial or academic issues. The appreciation for a foreign culture and understanding of a rich history that one gains by participating in this program is great, and I look forward to returning to Florence for the semester program in 2007.

This was an absolutely wonderful program and I would go again in a heartbeat. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in going.

Wonderful instructor; exceeded my greatest expectations.

Highlights of the Tones of Florence, 2005 as seen through the eyes of the students

  • I loved that we were able to attend two operas during our stay. Another highlight for me was the amount of art that we were able to view. I especially enjoyed the Uffizi and the Bargello.
  • The class preparing for the field trip was interesting and fun, and I expected to see renowned Renaissance art and impressive cathedrals while in Florence. However, I also witnessed the Savonarola Festival, the Mille Miglia, high mass in the Duomo on Pentecost, a chant vigil at the Badia, and a parade with 70 brass bands. And best of all, I experienced two weeks in beautiful Florence with twelve new friends. The two weeks living in Florence was remarkable enough to make the “top five” experiences in my life. We saw many other study abroad groups while in Italy, and after visiting with students in those other groups I could see clearly that our experience was better planned. Because we were better prepared and our participants were better screened, our study abroad experience was much richer. During the layover on my flight home, I was even “interviewed” by an advisor of another study abroad program, who took notes about how our program was structured.
  • Being able to see so many old historical sites, facts, etc.
  • Seeing all the churches and museums in Florence and the amazing artwork.
  • Experiencing Italian culture and history.
  • Tours around Florence with Dr. Bleyle and Niccolo Capponi, both operas (Don Giovanni and Tosca), Renaissance dinner, exploring the town on my own.
  • Entries to places that tourists cannot frequent.
  • All of the amazing artworks (sculptures, paintings, frescoes, etc.) and ancient ruins.
  • Experiencing the many different aspects to the culture, i.e., music, art, food, scenery, people.
  • The statue of David and culture all around.
  • Everything about Florence.

The following students are willing to share their experiences in Florence with any interested students:

Danielle Brown, Tiffany Guzik, Marie Heiniger, Stacey Goodman, Jessica Maves, Eric Nonnecke, Nora Epping, Alan Spohnheimer, Carly Huhn