Amazing Time Abroad January 22, 2019

By (Emory University) - abroad from 09/03/2018 to 12/13/2018 with

IES Abroad: Study Rome - Language & Area Studies

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned to trust myself more, and to be scared of fewer things. As a chronically late person, I finally learned to manage my time enough to be chronically on time! I feel like I can tackle anything now. And study abroad taught me that.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Not super hard but also not boring.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

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

IES gives a personal touch to everything. Their on-the-ground staff are the friendliest, most dedicated people I have ever met. In a country full of friendly people! Staff will go above and beyond for you.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? I don't know
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Produce is cheaper in Italy than in the U.S., so it's much cheaper to cook a healthy meal yourself than to eat out. Your credit or debit card probably has a withdrawal fee, so withdraw a bunch of money at once from the ATM. But go immediately home after, don't walk around with it all! Also, open-air markets are much cheaper than supermarkets. Look up when your local one is or ask IES faculty/staff.

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

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Beginner
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? 100-level Italian
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? Go out of your comfort zone. It's going to feel super awkward at first, but don't be scared. Italians are a super friendly bunch, so they will love it if you engage with them in Italian. Get ready to speak in Italian even when people respond to you in English. In Rome, people in the service industry tend to automatically switch to English when they hear a foreign accent. It's not just you.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
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?
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Field studies
  • friendly staff
* What could be improved?
  • helping us communicate with our host families
  • availability of professors outside of class
  • type of field trips in Italian class
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had known to bring better (and more) heavy-duty walking shoes. Rome's public transport is so bad that you end up walking almost everywhere. So bring good shoes.

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'