La Dolce Vita Past Review

By (International Relations And Global Studies, The University of Texas at Austin) for

IES Abroad: Study Rome - Language & Area Studies

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained a deeper appreciation for the Italian people and culture. This appreciation and understanding furthered my love for other cultures and my desire to explore and experience various cultures and lifestyles.

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 workload and grading system for my courses were reasonable. I was able to enjoy the experience of living in a foreign country without feeling overwhelmed, but I also felt like I gained a significant amount of knowledge from the instructors. I enjoyed being lectured in field studies and found that I was able to retain information much easier than when I am sitting in a lecture hall or staring at a book. Overall, I found the educational system preferable because it was hands on and was structured in a way that allowed me to display the overall knowledge I gained rather than the details that I memorized.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The IES program was very supportive and I felt like if I ever had any problems or questions, they were available to help me. I enjoyed having an Italian roommate very much and was able to make more Italian friends through her as well as through other student's Italian roommates. The only real weakness that was brought to my attention was finals week- having multiple finals the last week I was there was difficult. Also having to clean up the day that I finished finals and be out the next day was something that placed a little stress on me. I would have liked to had a couple of days before we were rushed out of the apartment.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

IES provided a list of recommended places to eat; while I didn't utilize this list, I know some students who did and found it helpful.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Our trip to Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast was really incredible. There were other day field trips offered but I opted out of them.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I felt pretty safe almost everywhere I went in Italy, inside and outside of Rome. I had a few friends whose purses and wallets were stolen, but as long as you keep an eye and hand on your belongings, that shouldn't be a problem. I had no experiences with the healthcare system.

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)


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
Language acquisition improvement?

I was able to practice with the Italian roommate that IES had set me up with, in class, as well as with a few Italian friends I made. Many people spoke english, but I tried to speak Italian when I could.

If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • Local Students

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Go for it, with an open mind.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Baroque Rome

Course Department: AH 331 01
Instructor: Federica Giacomini
Instruction Language: English
Comments: While the 2 hour morning lectures in minimally air conditioned rooms could be a bit brutal, overall I found this course beneficial. I went into this course with zero knowledge concerning Baroque art, and left the course with more knowledge than I thought I would acquire. I found the field studies in this class particularly interesting because I was able to see exactly what the instructor was talking about, while it was being talked about.
Credit Transfer Issues: I am currently in the process of transferring my credits.....I would suggest getting in touch with your study abroad advisor much sooner than I did to find out what is required before your credits can be posted.
Course Name/Rating:

Advanced Italian

Course Department: ITL 328
Instructor: Anna Ferrari
Instruction Language: Italian
Comments: The learning style in this language course was unlike any language course I have ever taken before. Most of this can be attributed to the amount of practice I was receiving outside of the classroom; rather than memorizing tenses and vocabulary, I was able to actively use what I have already learned and refine it.
Credit Transfer Issues: I am currently in the process of transferring my credits.....I would suggest getting in touch with your study abroad advisor much sooner than I did to find out what is required before your credits can be posted.