An amazing semester in Roma! July 30, 2016

By (The College of William and Mary) - abroad from 02/01/2016 to 05/20/2016 with

IES Abroad: Study Rome - Language & Area Studies

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned so much about my own abilities to work hard at adapting to a new culture. I gained valuable travel skills and how to be flexible during times of stress.

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in a homestay with a host mother, host father, and younger host brother. I absolutely loved my homestay, as it was truly an amazing way to get integrated into true Italian culture. I ate some of the best food I have ever had in my entire life with my host family (they even taught me some tricks!) and got to learn about what Italians think about the world and tourists and Americans. My Italian language skills significantly improved as well. I absolutely loved my homestay and would recommend it to anyone who

* Food:

The food that was served at functions sponsored by the program was always hot and delicious!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I loved being in a homestay because my host mom was able to give me great recommendations for places to eat and see. My host family had many dinner parties in which I got to talk to more locals and swap stories!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

The health and safety advisor Sylvia was always very kind and willing to help!

* Safety:

There are a lot of pickpockets in Rome, but if you are aware of your surroundings and your belongings you should be okay!

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

My study abroad experience was awesome. I absolutely loved my time abroad and would do it all over again in a heartbeat. I recommend IES Abroad for the student who wants to take advantage of every opportunity while abroad, because IES did an amazing job with extracurricular activities. Some of the many great excursions (all at low cost!) include a 2 day pilgrimage to Assisi and the Basilica di San Francesco, cooking and baking classes, a soccer league, museum tours led by our own professors, grocery store tours, shopping excursions, pottery classes, and dinners out. These were all opportunities I would not have participated in, without such an amazing staff and program . I absolutely loved my homestay and some of my best friends that I made in the program were also in homestays, and they were located within a 5 minute walk of my home.

Finances

* 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)

Traveling can get pretty expensive but if you cook and budget your expenses, you will be fine!

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Definitely make breakfast and lunch and save your money for traveling!

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

A fair amount. I took intensive Italian, which was 8 hours a week and my skills dramatically improved.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? I had not taken any Italian before I got to Italy.
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Talk to as many Italians as possible and do not be afraid to make mistakes

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* 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 class schedule and long weekeds
  • the extracurricular opportunities
  • the fun friends I made!
* What could be improved?
  • more sections offered of popular classes
  • better wireless internet in the center
  • Italian student companions for
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That I should have said yes to more opportunities!

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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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.