Roma = Amor Past Review

By (Wellesley College) - abroad from 08/29/2019 to 12/14/2019 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 definitely do not want to pursue my major at the graduate level, which was actually one reason I chose to attend. I learned a lot about myself, especially since the environment was much different from my home institution. I pushed myself on a social rather than academic level. For me, this was rewarding.

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.

I was not very impressed with the educational quality of the Centro. The program's most time-consuming course, Ancient City, left much to be desired. It felt monotonous, and the professors did a mediocre job with their lectures. I did enjoy getting to see a variety of sites, but felt discouraged knowing my peers and I would have little time to explore on our own. I will say, however, that I do not enjoy archaeology or material culture as many other Classics students. This may have contributed to my dislike of the course. I enjoyed my Italian class a lot, and also Advanced Greek. Keep in mind that the professors for the ancient language classes and Ancient City change every year, so you don't know what you'll be getting into exactly. Everyone was very happy with the permanent professors, though. I would also not recommend taking two ancient language courses. This was very overwhelming for some of my friends. Besides, you want to spend as much time as you can exploring Rome!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I LOVED the administrators of the Centro. Franco and Pina, who run the program, are so lovely. I felt that they, unlike our professors, cared deeply about us and our experience at the Centro. The kitchen staff were also accommodating and kind, as well as the women who work in the office.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I was very satisfied with my housing, but the forced doubles are very unfortunate. All you can do is hope that you end up with a single, though. The Centro is a nice facility and met my needs accordingly.

* Food:

AMAZING! Best meal plan I ever been on. I also liked that they did not provide meals on the weekend, so we were forced to experience Rome early on.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

This program will not integrate you into Italian culture. You spend the majority of time with Americans at a distinctly American program. I would not recommend this program to anyone looking for an authentic Italian experience. I knew this going in, though, and did not feel like the program misled me in anyway.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I myself did not have a problem, but a few of my friends had some difficultly getting proper healthcare. The doctors function much differently than they do in America. Bring your own cold medicine and whatever else you might need.

* Safety:

I felt very safe in Rome. I would not recommend going out alone at night, but my friends and I never once had an incident. The other European cities we visited seemed much less safe in comparison.

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

I am very glad I chose to attend the Centro. Even though the academic experience was not particularly gratifying to me, I chose the Centro because I wanted to spend a semester in Rome without having to learn Italian. This program is PERFECT for any Classics/Archaeology students looking to do the same. I wanted to experience life in Rome without feeling totally overwhelmed. I have heard many unfortunate stories of students who choose direct enrollment and really regret it. I was able to form incredibly close friendships and experience life abroad with a truly amazing group of people. I am so thankful for this! Rome is an incredible city and I wish I never had to leave.


* 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)

It is very easy to find cheap food in Rome. The local grocery store has great options for those who don't want to eat out. It could be potentially stressful for certain students, however, since many people travel while abroad. You can definitely find cheap flights and accommodations, though, if you spend time looking.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Probably about 60 euros, if even that.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Fly Ryanair and use Air BnB for housing when traveling. Eat cheap!


* 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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Forming close friendships
  • Living in Rome (w/o needing to speak Italian)
  • Getting to explore Europe
* What could be improved?
  • Ancient City course
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew not to be scared of living in a foreign country. I had a very easy transition, especially since I was so closely surrounded by Americans. It is totally not necessary to speak any Italian! I also wish I knew that the people at the program would be much more laidback than I expected. Most people attend to live in Rome, rather than have a particularly grueling academic experience. If that's what you're looking for, try Cambridge or Oxford.

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 Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.