CIMBA: Overwhelming, But Best Time of My Life Past Review

By (Journalism/Marketing, University of Iowa) for

CIMBA: Paderno del Grappa - Undergraduate Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I don't think the program has so much changed my academic interests and future plans, but it has definitely changed my life. Being able to go abroad, successfully complete two courses in a short amount of time, and navigate my way through Europe has proven to me that I can do anything. I would recommend studying abroad to everyone who is able to do it!

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The academics were far more difficult than I imagined. I personally had too much homework for the amount of time available to me. I had wonderful professors, but felt as if too much was expected of me when taking travel, class, homework, and sleep into consideration. Six semester hours in 17 days was too much.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

All staff of CIMBA were very helpful and knowledgeable about the program and travel in Europe. If they did not know an answer to a question, they promptly figured it out for us. The campus was very nice, but very much isolated. It would have been nice to be in a bigger town with a little more to do and see in free time, but Paderno del Grappa was charming and nice nonetheless. My expectations were very much met. But like I said earlier, I felt overwhelmed often and completely swamped with school work. I think the program should be 1 course in 4 weeks, or 2 courses in 6 weeks.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

Friendly staff with a fairly limited selection. We had pasta with red sauce almost everyday and got pretty boring, but it was good quality.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The program offered field trips to local towns around our campus, and I took every opportunity to see one of these places. They were neat trips because I will never visit those places on future trips to Italy. It was nice to see things "off the beaten path" and experience some Italian culture that has largely been untainted by outside cultures.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

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


* 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)


If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • Local Students

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Take every opportunity to go on field trips provided by the program, but be ready to work your butt off and skimp on sleep. Also, don't be afraid to ask for help on anything. The staff is awesome!

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Introduction to Marketing Strategies

Course Department: 06M:100:EX6
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Because it was a core class, there was a lot of pressure to fit in all the material in a short amount of time, and also to do well in it. I learned a lot in this class, but felt overwhelmed by it 100% of the time.
Credit Transfer Issues: The program was through my home institution, so no problems!
Course Name/Rating:

Introductory Topics Mass Communication

Course Department: 019:169:EX6
Instructor: John English
Instruction Language: English
Comments: I loved this class and felt as if it enhanced my overall experience in Italy. Because we were reading about sights, people, and places in Italy, it was fun to either go somewhere with ideas in mind, or to compare our own experiences to those of the writers of the travel pieces. I took a lot from this class, but often felt overwhelmed by the amount of reading we had to do on a nightly basis. I think I would have had a similar experience even with a little less reading per night.
Credit Transfer Issues: No problem