Very Academically Challenging Past Review

By (English, Greek, Trinity University) for

ICCS / Centro: Rome - The Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Although my experience wasn't exactly what I expected, it was a highly valuable experience nonetheless. I learned a lot about myself, and it really challenged me to think through my future plans and my plans to go to grad school.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I learned a lot at this program, and the teaching style was very unique. We spent most of our time on site learning from the professors as they lectured about what was standing right in front of us. That said, this learning style has its own challenges -- uncooperative weather, crowds, exhaustion, etc. That said, the amount of time you spend in class is excessive. You will be on field trips all day Tuesday, plus half days Mon. Wed. and Thurs. When you get back to the center from the field trips on Mon., Wed., and Thurs., you will have at least 2 classes to go to. On top of this, you will have a lot of reading plus translation assignments for the language classes.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The ICCS staff was extremely helpful. They made the Centro feel like our home away from home. They made sure we had everything we needed.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The location is great -- safe residential neighborhood that allowed for a fairly authentic experience of daily life in the city (cafes, shops, etc.). Also about a ten-fifteen minute walk from Trastevere, one of the best areas of the city for nightlife/bars/restaurants for young people.

* Food:

I would say the food was one of the best parts of my experience there -- there was always enough food and it was of the highest quality. The dinners are full 2 course meals, plus dessert.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The 2 week field trips to Sicily and Campania are great, albeit a bit stressful and hectic (very packed with site-seeing, off and on a tour bus, etc. plus dealing with school work).

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Our staff responded very quickly and efficiently in the few minor emergencies we faced. They definitely made safety a priority.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? I would say I spent about 50E a week on this kind of thing.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Things that are relatively inexpensive and easy to get in the US were much harder to find and more expensive in Italy (tennis shoes, toiletries, etc.). I would recommend stocking up on those things before you go abroad so you don't have to waste time and money finding them there.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
Language acquisition improvement?

The program offered one course in beginning Italian. They did little things to help foster language acquisition, such as setting up and "italian table" at lunch where we could speak italian with the professors and staff. That said, it was difficult to practice Italian since we were so often required to remain in our group of Americans. The best way to practice is to talk to people -- at cafes, bars, restaurants, etc.

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
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Food.
  • The students.
  • The staff.
* What could be improved?
  • The rooms are tiny.
  • Professor/student dynamic.
  • The Centro can feel suffocatingly small.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? A highly academically driven student who loves classics and wants to pursue a career in classics would be the best fit for this program.