A Life-Changing Experience Abroad Past Review

By (HSSP, Brandeis University) - abroad from 01/29/2019 to 05/09/2019 with

IES Abroad: Study Rome - Language & Area Studies

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned new language and communication skills, I gained a deeper appreciation for other cultures, and I was able to travel the world and meet new/interesting people. This was an extremely worthwhile experience.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

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?

* 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


* 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? $4,000
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Budget! Set a maximum amount that you are to afford each week and try to keep within that budget. Make a list of all of your expenses to keep track. Also, don't eat out all of the time - cooking is cheaper.


* 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? Advanced
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Fluent
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? ITAL 128
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? Try to speak italian in every situation. Whether it's at the supermarket or ordering in a restaurant, don't automatically default to English. It's ok to make mistakes while speaking, but the more you try the easier the language becomes.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • 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?
  • The life-long friendships I made
  • The culture (monuments! food! the language!)
  • The classes and field studies
* What could be improved?
  • The workload
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That it is ok if I wasn't independent or did not know how to cook or was nervous about speaking to locals because I will gain all of these skills, and more, throughout my time abroad.

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.'