Past Review

By (Ancient Mediterranean Civilizations, Rice 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?

Personal Information

The term and year this program took place: Fall 2009

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I learned much more about the topography of Rome than I could ever have in a class room setting. Do not expect this program to be a history review, rather the program incorporates the history of Rome with an in depth look at the archaeology and topography of the city. You will come away with a new appreciation for the eternal city as well as the native people. You will also get a chance to travel to places you normally wouldn't go in Italy and around Rome. This program overall is essential and highly recommended for Classics majors.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The program providers on site were warm people who were very knowledgeable about Italy, they are Italians themselves.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The Centro is one building where all of your needs are met. The dining rooms are down stairs, dorm rooms on the 2nd and 3rd floors, and the classrooms on the 4th floor. Some rooms are singles, others are doubles. Requests can be made for your own single. You have your own sink, bathrooms and showers are shared. There is a girls floor and a guys floor. The neighborhood is Monte Verde, on top of the Juniculum hill. The view is amazing, the famous neighborhood of Trastevere is a ten minute walk away. A park is one block down the road where there are trails to run. The neighborhood is very local, with "bars" (coffee shops), gelateria (for gelato), pizzarias, etc.. I loved this neighborhood, and highly recommend it for people who want to have a true Roman experience! <br /><br /> Like I said before, the neighborhood is great, with many food selections. There are also numerous bus stops so travel around Rome is very accessible.

* Food:

Our meals were prepared, 3 times a day, 5 days a week. The food was authentic and amazing. Vegetarians were accommodated for. On the weekends, we had to venture out to find food. Sundays are difficult because most places in the neighborhood are closed. There is a pizza/kebab place 3 blocks up the road that is opened pretty much all the time. For good eats, check out Trastevere, Monticello, stick with the local restaurants, stay away from the tourist traps and you guaranteed to eat well in Rome!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The people I met on the program are great. The program is for Classical students, so you will get to experience peers on the same academic level as you, and who can discuss Latin, Vergil, Ovid, Augustus, while talking about sports, music, etc. The student body is diverse and you will definitely find a close knit group of friends to share this amazing experience with. The field trip to Sicily is amazing (food was great, beautiful island). Overall, you will have time to travel, there is a one week break in the middle of the semester, and its highly recommended because its cheap to travel around Europe once your already here!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I felt safe, the neighborhood was safe and quiet.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? The majority of weekly expenses was food during the weekends. You can either eat a cheap lunch (5-7 Euros) and then a nice dinner (10-15 Euros), or you can buy food at the local groceries. You will spend about 50 Euros per week if you eat well and if you go party during the weekends. Drinks in bars/clubs are usually around 5-7 Euros.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? There is a housing deposit at the beginning of the semester so bring enough money to cover that. Spend what you can, don't over do it, but also don't be too frugal and miss out on great restaurants. A big portion of the experience abroad is the travel to other countries, and experiences while you eat out.


How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
Language acquisition improvement?

Although this is an American program. An introductory Italian class is offered. Other students have taken the course and really enjoyed the course over all. Students who were in the Italian course got more out of the program because they were able to converse with the natives.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Be open minded, you will have a lot of fun, discover some amazing places, and meet really cool people. Don't be discouraged because the program is somewhat challenging, instead look forward to it because this program is the most prestigious Classical studies program offered abroad. This program is a MUST for those interested in graduate programs in the fields of archaeology or Classical studies because the chance to network and find digs are great!

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Ancient City

Course Department:
Instructor: Peter, Stacey, John, Mac
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This course makes up half of the program. It combines the history and archaeology of Rome and counts as two classes. This course takes an in depth look at the topography of Rome, show casing the layers of the eternal city from the time of its foundation stretching to the Christian emperors. The on site lectures provides a wealth of information that pictures cannot. Being on site is the most important and essential part of the program as well as the course. Although it can be grueling, with long days at difficult sites, the knowledge you will gain is a very rewarding experience. Class participation is key, and you will definitely be in class more so than at your normal institutions. You are not able to skip class unless you are ill.
Credit Transfer Issues: No
Course Name/Rating:

Intermediate Latin

Course Department:
Instructor: Stacey McGowen
Instruction Language: English
Comments: In class, we read Augustus' Res Gestae, Ars Amatoria and Amores by Ovid. The readings were great, very appropriate for the intermediate level. The instructor was very helpful and willing to review.
Credit Transfer Issues: No
Course Name/Rating:

Art History: Renaissance to Baroque

Course Department:
Instructor: Paul Tegmeyer
Instruction Language: English
Comments: The most amazing class offered by the program. No prior knowledge of art is needed. Paul is one of the most knowledgeable professors I've ever had in my college career. TAKE THIS CLASS! You will not regret it! This art history class will take you to many churches and museums and will show you the richness and depth of the Roman High Renaissance, Mannerist period, Counter-Reformation, and High Baroque. Rome is the best place to study this period in art because of the patronage of the papacy, which inherently gives rise to artists such as Raphael, Michelangelo, Carravaggio, Borromini, Bernini, and others. This is a one in a lifetime chance to study these artists and their works in the city that spurred the High Renaissance movement. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED TO TAKE THIS COURSE!!!
Credit Transfer Issues: no