An Experience of My Own Making Past Review

By (Bucknell University) - abroad from 01/25/2016 to 05/14/2016 with

Arcadia: Rome - Arcadia in Rome

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Deciding to study abroad is a decision I will never regret. Italian culture is very different from American culture. Because I wasn't in love with Rome, I tried to travel on the weekends and see new places. I made it my own experience and learned so much more than if I had just stayed in Italy. Studying abroad helped me see the world from a different perspective. I learned how to navigate my way through cities where I didn't speak the language. I gained a sense of independence and enhanced my communication skills with people of all cultures.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The classes overall weren't that difficult. Most had attendance policies so as long as you showed up to class each week you'd do fine. As an engineering major, I usually have about 22 hours of class a week at my home school but I only had 15 hours of class a week while abroad.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The administration seemed disorganized.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The apartment we stayed in was very nice, but a little older. You had to light the gas stove and the gas oven each time you wanted to use them.

* Food:

It's Italy so the food's going to be amazing. Most restaurants are accommodating with food allergies and other dietary needs. They usually have gluten free pasta if you ask.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

We lived in a very authentic Italian neighborhood away from the tourist attractions. A lot of people in the area didn't speak much English. When I went grocery shopping or for a walk around the block, I felt like the only American around.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

You get insurance as part of the program before going so I always carried that insurance card with me but I never needed healthcare.

* Safety:

Rome is a city of pickpockets. I never feared for my life, but I did fear for my wallet and phone. NEVER put your phone in your back pocket and always walk with your purse in front of you and your hand on the zipper.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No

After visiting other cities, I discovered that I liked the culture of northern European countries more than Italian culture. That's just a personal preference though.


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Rome is a pretty cheap city but we traveled on the weekends which added up.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $150
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Try to plan trips in advance because this can save you money on flights and hostels.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

We had an Italian language class but it didn't prioritize the essential phrases for living there. We learned how to order food about three weeks into the program and most people had already figured it out by then.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? None
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Always try to order in Italian and greet your Italian neighbors when you pass them in your apartment building. It will help you become more comfortable with the pronunciation of the words.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • No class on Fridays
  • At Home in Rome class helped you learn more about the city
  • Very nice professors
* What could be improved?
  • Obtaining the permit to stay in Italy was a disorganized process
  • Location of the apartments
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? The neighborhood we lived in was far from historic Rome, the Vatican, and any place of interest really. It was frustrating to always have to take the bus or metro to go see something.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!