A Month in Italy Past Review

By (Film/Video and Photographic Arts., Ithaca College) for

Ithaca College: Rome - Photographic Field Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was a great program that I really learned a lot from.

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Our apartment was not the nicest, but it was in a really central area of Rome. The other apartment (both apartments were supplied by Cornell) was much nicer but in a less central area, and they had to ride the tram every day to class, whereas we had a 3 minute walk

* Food:

the food was usually really good and very fresh in restaurants. when cooking at home, the market down the street from our apartment made it really easy to get buy fresh ingredients and make really good food at ourselves.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

We were able to travel to Venice and Florence as weekend trips and those were really fun in that we got to see other aspects of Italy that weren't our "normal" and day-to-day lives in Rome.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

There were pros and cons about the Italian health care system that we encountered. There was an incident where somebody had to go to the hospital for a dislocated shoulder. We had to call an ambulance, which did come relatively quickly, though neither the operator nor the ambulance medics spoke any English. When they arrived at the hospital (as they told us later; I wasn't with them), they were helped rather fast in comparison to the American health care system, and they were done with everything within about 3 hours. Again, though, none of the doctors, nurses or hospital workers spoke any English, so most of the time the injured person and the girl who went with him had no idea what was going on. When they were done, they didn't know if they could leave or not because nobody was charging them for their hospital visit (Italy has universal health care).

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? I think I probably spent about 150-200 euro per week, mostly on food and dining, which did occasionally become a little expensive.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Something that surprised me was that the water in Italian restaurants was not free like in American restaurants. You had to pay for a bottle of water (either flat or carbonated, you have to specify to the waiter). Also, the ATMs will probably have an outrageous withdrawal fee, so I only made one big withdrawal, rather then several small ones. And use the euro coins, you can't exchange them back into American money.


How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
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?

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  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

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  • Americans