Would go back in a heartbeat! Past Review

By (Business Administration, University of Iowa) - abroad from 09/06/2010 to 07/15/2011 with

CIMBA: Paderno del Grappa - Graduate and MBA Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned more about myself in my time at CIMBA that I imagined possible. I find it has helped me in every aspect of my life, and I continue to expand on those skills now. I have made friends I will keep for a lifetime and connections that are incredibly valuable. The CIMBA program is definitely non-traditional, but this is what was so incredible about it.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The academic experience was not traditional simply because it was based in Italy. It would have been very costly to the University and to the students to keep the professors in Italy for the entire school year. So instead, the professors arrived for two weeks of intense classes followed by an exam. I personally enjoyed this method of learning as it allowed students to focus solely on the class at hand without distraction from other classes. Once the class was over, students moved on to focus on the next subject.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The CIMBA staff are a very close unit. They are all focused on the betterment of the student experience and I greatly enjoyed getting to know each of them!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The living arrangements at CIMBA make the experience especially unique. The classes, dorm rooms, library, computer room, gym, kitchen, and administrative offices are all in the same building - a very old convent! Obviously this is very convenient if you are busy with classes! At the end of the class day, the administrative staff goes home, and students remain in the building. Although the gym could be improved, the experience of being around the same group of people is definitely a life lesson. I learned quickly that despite not getting along with someone, I would have to learn how to deal with this as there was no real escape! This is true in life as well - at work you don't get to choose your colleagues.

* Food:

Our class established cooking groups early on as there were only four stove burners in the kitchen and with eighteen students, that was going to make cooking dinner separately very challenging. This was a wonderful opportunity to learn how to cook new things as well as taste food from various cultures! Not to mention, eating out in town was always wonderful!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Our class specifically felt integration with the local culture. We got to know the owners of the coffee shop as well as the owners of the pizza restaurant and the nearby bar. Despite not always being able to understand their Italian, we worked to develop relationships with them and when our families visited, we paraded them down to meet our local friends! We also enjoyed participating in the nearby cherry festival and a CIMBA-hosted wine tasting!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

The staff was always quick to help set up appointments in the case of illness.

* Safety:

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* 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)

Although we were initially concerned about the cost of living in this particular town, we were happily surprised at our ability to afford to enjoy meals out. Plus our group meals dramatically reduced each individual's food costs.

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Developing cooking groups will help greatly. Also buy in bulk as a group as much as possible. And keep an eye on vegetables and fruits that are in season!


* 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

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? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Intro to Italian
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? The quickest way to utilize your Italian skills is to go to restaurants and coffee shops and order in Italian. Plus the Italian students in our program were incredibly helpful teaching us the language as they were equally excited to learn English words!

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 10+

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • LIFE program
  • Emotion regulation
  • Friendships gained
* What could be improved?
  • The gym
  • The internet
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Looking back, I suspect every aspect of the program was specifically engineered for a certain purpose so I don't feel like I needed to know anything in advance. However, if someone is not interested in personal development and in a very challenging team experience, then maybe opting for a traditional program would be a better choice!

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!