Italy: Different from Life Back Home Past Review

By (History And English, University of Texas - San Antonio) for

CISabroad (Center for International Studies): Semester in Perugia

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I become very aware and proud of my country of origin. I learned that even those countries that appear as the ideal place have negative aspects as well. I learned to be calm, rather than stressed. Italy will slow you down. Accept it and love it

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

i witnessed some lack of academic teaching in numerous courses. Most of the time, students would be traveling rather than actually studying and learning. Majority of my classes were an exception due to my teachers, but the other classes my classmates attended were regarded as a joke.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

My expectations were not met. I found some resources, but overall the transition from a big university to such a small institute created many issues for me. I did not find a wide array of choices, and the administration appeared as though they were managing a university for the first time. I had serious issues with the housing director who would never answer my emails, and refuse to believe our complaints about our apartment. At one point, my roommates and I had to request numerous times that someone be sent to our apartment to deal with the growing mold in our bathroom and front door.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The proximity to my class was the only positive aspect of my housing arrangement. Otherwise the apartment was in a bad condition. Our oven did not work for the first three months. Out of our two showers, only one drain functioned properly. Our housing director and institute failed to inform the students that the heating system would not be functioning until a specific date which was incorrect. Many students suffered severe discomfort from lack of heat in the apartments due to our institute refusing to turn on our heating system despite the country allowing other houses to turn theirs on a week before.

* Food:

Italy does offer amazing food, but the variety is limited to a few staple foods such as pasta, tomatoes, cheese, and some meats. Be prepared to not find many things you take for granted back home. Adjust and adapt, but do not complain. Learn to cook using the delicious ingredients italy does have to offer.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

My most memorable experience was attending the opera with my italian literature professor.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Be prepared to be questioned in Italian. If you do not know italian, then do not complain that they did not understand you. I overheard many people complaining about the lack of information from the doctor, but that is the way medicine is regarded in Italy. Learn to adapt.

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)


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

I had to know at least a little italian to survive. In Perugia, not many people understand English which for a foreigner without any knowledge of the Italian language can create many dilemmas.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • professors
  • travel opportunities
  • interactions
* What could be improved?
  • better administration
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Anyone could benefit from spending time in Italy. Whether you are a relaxed easy going wanderer or a up-tight ambitious stifler. Italy can change anyone.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Love, Death, And Social Strife

Course Department: ITLI
Instructor: A.Valoroso
Instruction Language: English
Comments: AMAZING PROFESSOR! I would only consider staying in Perugia if I could be guaranteed another course with this professor. Her knowledge and flexible teaching methods creates the perfect environment to study literature. Preferably, a small class is better suited for her teaching method. Otherwise, the reading material was a wonderful introduction into the Italian way of life. Loved every part of it!
Credit Transfer Issues: