A Summer of Gastronomic Education in Roma June 18, 2018

By (University of Massachusetts Amherst / UMass) - abroad from 05/23/2017 to 06/23/2017 with

Gustolab International: Rome - Institute for Food Studies Semester and Programs

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned much about the cultural importance of food, the nutritional aspects of the food we eat, and how much of a problem food waste is in the world. The program was extremely worthwhile.

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.

Overall, I very much enjoyed the academic experience here. The professors were wonderful. The coursework was multidisciplinary and the administrative staff was always helpful and very much added to the experience.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The administration was fantastic. We had access to everything we needed and the staff provided us with many additional cultural activities that really added to the program.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I did not use on-site housing, but the administrative staff was very helpful in discussing my housing options while I made those decisions.

* Food:

The program was in Italy and was about food - so the food was incredible. I ate more than I ever have in my life. Everything was phenomenal.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Cultural integration can be tricky, but the program helped us adjust well.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I did not have any issues, but we were advised on healthcare if it was needed.

* Safety:

I had no fears of safety and we discussed safety extensively during orientation.

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

I had a wonderful experience with Gustolab. It definitely increased my knowledge base in the field and made me very comfortable living abroad. They have also been extremely helpful in helping me find a graduate program in which to continue my studies. It was a very important experience for me.


* 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)

I am no longer a student, so I had more leeway with my budget, but I was able to live relatively modestly in Roma.

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? Cook for yourself a little bit at least if you have access to a kitchen. Eat at smaller establishments, which are a bit cheaper. Walk as much as you can - it's such good exercise too. Overall though, good food was pretty inexpensive in Italy.


* 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

I did not take the language course, but I picked up a lot while I was there.

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? Into Course
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? Use it as much as you can. Try not to speak English to native speakers if you can help it. Definitely take a language course. I wish I had, but I did not.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • N/A
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
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 location & travel
  • The classes
  • The food activities
* What could be improved?
  • Class scheduling
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That the time would go by so quickly - I wish it had been longer!

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!