Art and Ancient History Still Thrive in Rome May 20, 2022

By (Art History, Brandeis University) - abroad from 01/31/2022 to 05/12/2022 with

IES Abroad: Study Rome - Language & Area Studies

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained independence and more cultural experience. It was definetly worthwhile.

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.

The education was good. I liked most of my professors and thought the classes had a nice amount of work. I enjoyed going out into the city exploring different areas with my classes.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The administration was awful. When students would complain or need help they were unwilling and took very long periods of time to get back to you. They blamed everything on the students and took no responsibility with problems in their program. They did not care about the well-being of students and their academic or personal lives while abroad.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The dorm living provided by IES was nice with amenities and proximity to school. The issues thought outweighed these nice parts. The dorm staff were unhelpful most times and like the administration would immediately blame the students for things wrong. The building despite being brand new was falling apart. The AC/heat system constantly was broken and even made the temperatures in the rooms unbearable to live in. The way the room was set up was dangerous, especially the ladder-stairs leading up to the lofted bed.

* Food:

The food in Italy is amazing. The program had no control over food though so, the food I found and cooked was great.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt I integrated well into the culture. Italy is a fairly easy place to assimilate and the people are super willing to help.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

The healthcare was ok. The doctor provided through IES was hard to reach once an appointment was made. I saw him three times and each time he was a half hour to hour late. He was kind though and comprehensive. Submitting a claim through the insurance IES provided was difficult and they provide little help with this process.

* Safety:

The city’s safety is high and there was a way to immediately get in contact with IES if you were in trouble.

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

Despite the issues with IES itself, I liked where I lived and I made many friends there. I also loved my teachers and classes. IES did a great job integrating Rome into classes and experiential learning.


* 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)

Italy like most of Europe is expensive. However I found cooking meals and even eating out wasn’t as expensive as in the US. The euro is more expensive so at times it was comparable to the US. Food was the cheapest thing overall when budgeting weekly, but other social and personal expenses were higher.


* 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

They made us all take Italian and when outside of class it was easier to try and use Italian. The Italian teachers would also always encourage it.

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? Intermediate
How many hours per day did you use the language?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
* 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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • City experiences in classes
* What could be improved?
  • Administration power structure and interactions with students
  • Housing
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? N/A

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!