The best crumbling ruins and piles of rocks you will ever see Past Review

By (Classics, Wellesley College) - abroad from 09/08/2014 to 12/19/2014 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned that I do indeed like classical studies! Be warned: this is not for the student who wants to see modern Italy and who only has a passing interest in classics. This is like classics boot camp. Some days you will be out for 8-10 hours, climbing over rocks and taking notes in the pouring rain. That said, I'd do it again in a heartbeat. I had a great time, soggy notebooks aside.

Review Photos

Duke University: Rome - Duke in Rome (ICCS) Photo Duke University: Rome - Duke in Rome (ICCS) Photo Duke University: Rome - Duke in Rome (ICCS) Photo

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.

Intense academics. This will not be a vacation, but it won't be unmanageable as long as you plan your time wisely. The library is okay, but for more in-depth assignments (like your final project) you might need to head to the American Academy's library up the road.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The ladies in the office were so sweet and helpful!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Tiny rooms. I had a single, so it felt cozy, but some of the doubles looked a bit cramped. No real complaints, though.

* Food:

Excellent. Three meals a day M-F. By far the best food you will find on any study abroad program in the universe.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

This program is not about modern Italy, and it shows. On the day we arrive we get a map listing nearby groceries, bars (cafes), and so on. Beyond that, we're pretty much on our own.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

N/A, but I heard from other people that it was okay. Be prepared to pay ~100 euros for a trip to a GP--people didn't get reimbursed until they got back to the States.

* Safety:

Be prepared for catcalling. I always felt better when traveling in a pair or group of three, but I never felt particularly unsafe, even at night. The neighborhood is pretty quiet. Guidebooks make a fuss over pickpocketing, but I don't think we had an issue with that. Just make sure your valuables are out of sight and you keep alert in crowds and on buses.

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)

The toughest part was weekends--you were on your own for food. It was possible to spend tons of money and eat out every night, or spend very little and eat in every night--it's really up to the student. There are a couple of groceries nearby where you could pick up instant noodles and stuff like that.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? About 40 euros
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Bring peanut butter! They do sell Skippy in Italy, but at an exorbitant price. Nutella is a bit cheaper, and you can pick up fantastic bread at any number of places.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

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
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 professors
  • The class trips outside of Rome
  • The food!
* What could be improved?
  • The internet connection. What a nightmare.
  • Instruction on modern Italian culture and politics
  • Accommodation of dietary needs
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? To relax a little! I was wound up super tight before getting to Rome, because I'd heard about the academic rigor. And yes, it is at least as hard as Wellesley. But at Wellesley, you don't get to explore chamber tombs or ancient harbor ruins or pet the resident cats at archaeological sites. Don't let the phantom of rigorous academics (that really will be manageable, all things considered) frighten you away from a truly awesome program.

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!