An Unforgettable Experience February 20, 2017

By (Fordham University) - abroad from 08/29/2016 to 12/16/2016 with

IES Abroad: Study Rome - Language & Area Studies

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I really learned to be independent and I have become more mature. Living basically on my own in a foreign country makes me feel like I can do almost anything. I feel more responsible and more like an actual adult now.

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 professors accomplished in their fields and were all Italian (but spoke perfect English). The classes were interesting subjects that taught about the art and culture. Many of the classes were taught not in the classroom but instead at the actual sites themselves which was incredibly interesting.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Extremely friendly and helpful! Always willing to answer any question no matter how small.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The neighborhood was amazing and right in the city center, 5 minutes away from the Vatican. My apartment was a bit crowded, with 8 people in 3 bedrooms, but overall was a great experience.

* Food:

Where to start! The pasta, the bread, the cheese, the wine, the pizza were all great, but the less stereotypical national dishes were just as if not better.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Not being fluent hurt my integration, but the program worked hard to teach us about the city and culture and offered many programs to help us learn about the culture.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had a few health issues including one in which I had to go to hospital, and the administration was extremely helpful in explaining what hospitals/doctors were the best.

* Safety:

Safety was discussed extensively during orientation and I felt secure in knowing where to go and where not to go. The neighborhood where I went to school and where I lived were extremely safe as well.

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

This program exceeded by expectations by far. It was so much fun and yet educational at the same time. I "compared notes" with friends who studied elsewhere and they all seemed to have had many more problems than I did.

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)

The food in the stores was cheap, much cheaper than I am used to. Drinking all the wine that is part of this culture got expensive however.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 65
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Don't eat out too often because that really adds up quick. Try to cook as much as possible.

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

It really pushed us to use Italian.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? 2001
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? Italians are very friendly and are willing to be helpful if you speak Italian with them. Try to have at least one conversation each day with a local and you'll be amazed how quickly you learn the language.

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
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?
  • Ability to Travel
  • Interesting Classes
  • Many extra programs offered
* What could be improved?
  • Center could get crowded
  • Wifi was often slow
  • My apartment was a bit cramped
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I would have budgeted my money more carefully so I could have gone on more trips.

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!