Everything I wanted in a study abroad experience! January 21, 2016

By (Biochemistry and Italian Studies, Wellesley College) - abroad from 09/02/2015 to 12/19/2015 with

Eastern College Consortium (ECCO): Bologna - Università di Bologna Study Abroad Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
This program came at a personal cost but I would without a doubt participate again. I learned so much about the Italian culture and the people in this country that I could not have learned in any course. I also had the opportunity to explore different courses and learn material I would never have taken the time to learn in my busy schedule at Wellesley.

Review Photos

Eastern College Consortium (ECCO): Bologna - Università di Bologna Study Abroad Program Photo Eastern College Consortium (ECCO): Bologna - Università di Bologna Study Abroad Program Photo Eastern College Consortium (ECCO): Bologna - Università di Bologna Study Abroad Program Photo Eastern College Consortium (ECCO): Bologna - Università di Bologna Study Abroad Program Photo

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.

This program will improve your Italian, you have full immersion in your classes but there is plenty of time to enjoy your time. Workload is easier to handle then Wellesley since the way they teach is different. Expectations are different.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Everyone at the office was extremely welcoming. All were willing to help us determine which courses fit us and our schedule best. They were also wonderful in helping us adjust to life in Italy!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The apartment was wonderful and living with Italian roommates definitely made the immersion experience grander. It was also great that there were other students in proximity.

* Food:

Italian food is wonderful. The stipend given definitely was enough to buy food. Also, the program did a wonderful job in taking us to restaurants and showing us new cuisine.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I took courses in Italian at one of the oldest universities in Europe, lived with Italian students and other international students. I went to restaurants, took an Italian cuisine course and volunteered at a middle school. I felt very integrated.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I felt safe in the city, when my wallet was stolen the advisors were very helpful in outlining the necessary steps that needed to be taken.

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

Finances

* 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)

The budget was very appropriate for food stipend. There were other expenses, especially in the beginning that I think the budget did not consider (like setting up the apartment and getting all cook ware.

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? Ask the office if there are any cooking supplies that previous students have left over. Bikes can be sold back. Always allow yourself some wiggle room if incidents happen (like getting your wallet stolen with a lot budget money in it)

Language

* 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

The advisors were very adamant that no English would be used inside the building. Italian was very encouraged.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Fluent
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? I had finished with the grammar/language component of the major and had taken a 200 level course focused on italian books
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Don't be afraid to talk with your roommates in Italian (even if they speak English). They are one of the biggest resources!

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

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

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • the course materials were new and completely different to what I study at wellesley
  • living in an apartment with other local students
  • traveling to other surrounding cities and towns that are not in guide books
* What could be improved?
  • explaning students how courses work before arrival
  • information on setting up apartment
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had known how accessible it all was. I was really worried that I would not be able to maintain myself financially.

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!