While Abroad, I have never seen or experienced more in my life. Past Review

By (Political Science and Government., Austin College) for

IES Abroad: Study Rome - Language & Area Studies

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My experience has made me much more culturally aware and made me realize not to make generalizations or stereotypes and people of different culture. I was able to travel to different countries and see beautiful museums which I would not have been able to do unless abroad, that contributed to my experience greatly. My art history teacher impacted me and got me very interested in art, which I previously had no interest in. Overall, I would never take back my experience abroad and am very thankful to AC's study abroad office and my parents for making it possible.

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.

The teachers were knowledgable and engaging. I especially enjoyed my art history course where the teacher took the class to many of the beautiful museums and churches Rome had to offer!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I felt the administration was good they helped us (students) whenever we asked. Also, they provided internships and community service which I really enjoyed. They were a little slow to get things done, but I think that is just the Italian culture--you could tell we were in Italy with this program! But, overall I am glad I choose this program and really liked the faculty and staff they were very friendly.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I was lucky. I had an apartment in the center and it was about a 30-40 min walk to school. Also, we were in a very lively part of town a lot of restraunts and bars. The apartment was furnished and had sheet and cookware, which was very nice to not have to worry about.

* Food:

The food was excellent whether you went out and or bought from the grocery store. Everything was fresh and decently priced.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The program had ISC's which were Italian Student Companions who were very nice and showed us the city and introduced us to their friends. Roberto, and ISC, cooked traditional Italian meals for us which were delicious! Also, the school provided a paid trip for the class which was a lot of fun and we got to experience a little more culture.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

The program had an emergency health line you could call at anytime if you were in trouble. They also had a doctor who would make house calls. I did get sick while abroad and the program made an appointment for me and told me how to get to the doctors office. I did not get any vaccines which abroad.

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? I probably spent about 30-40 euro a week on food at the grocery store and meals out were usually about 9 euro. The shopping was beautiful so I come times caved and that could get expensive fast.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Always to prepare to spend more money that your original estimate because, at least for me, I was unrealistic and hoped I would only spend X amount but it can mount up quickly so just be aware of what you are buying and if you really need it.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? None
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

The biggest problem I had with learning the language was the fact that I went to school with all Americans and lived with Americans. People spoke english all the time, which made it difficult to learn the language. I would recommend a homestay if you are interested in really learning the language. But, I did try and practice Italian with some locals, but it is difficult because some locals get frusterated with you easily. Overall, everyone was very nice though!

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* 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 do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? You will make friends with the faculty, and although the IES program has its flaws, the people are great and the teachers can turn you on to different topics you could end up loving.