Go Rome or Go Home: When In Rome Past Review

By (Communication and Media Studies., Illinois State University) for

Lorenzo de' Medici - Summer: Direct Enrollment

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was without a doubt worthwhile. I hope I have the opportunity to return to Rome one day. I learned so much about the Italian culture and language while I was there. We made Italian friends, so beside learning about the culture we had the opportunity to live in it. I definitely feel more mature and well-rounded after living in Rome.e

Personal Information

If you took classes at multiple universities, list those universities here: Lorenzo de' Medici
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 in Italy is much different. We were not expected to do as much homework and we only had 2-4 tests/quizzes the entire semester, including the midterm and final. The teaching methods are slightly less organized, but the teachers are generally easier graders also. There is a ton of discussion in class and less lecture.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Our administration was incredible. They were SO helpful anytime a student needed anything. They were always attentive, friendly, and caring for all the students. Although I wish the program size would have been larger, the staff really interacts with the students and has a good opportunity to get to know them besides just a name.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Our house was very dirty/old. Also, the appliances/electronics consistently broke. Our location was convenient during the day for sightseeing, etc., but the nightlife is very far away from us. This made transportation difficult since the buses aren't quite reliable.

* Food:

Find fresh markets! They sell the best fruits and vegetables for cheap. Also pasta at the grocery store is unbelievably cheap. But if you eat too much it WILL start to show!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

All events outside of school was amazing. Our advisers planned weekend trips for us to Tuscany, the Amalfi Coast, and Umbria. Traveling anywhere through Italy is an unforgettable experience.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I never felt unsafe in Rome. I constantly walked around alone and never felt insecure. Rome is supposedly the safest European city.

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? $150/week
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Don't overstock on food because you end up eating out more than you expect. People generally go to the grocery each day and only buy what they're going to eat that day instead of making a trip for the entire week.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? 185
Language acquisition improvement?

Most people spoke English or at least broken English, but we were highly encouraged to interact with store clerks, school staff, and our peers in Italian. Although I don't speak the language very well, I definitely learned much more living in the Italian culture than I would have by studying the language at my home university.

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

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

* Did you study abroad through an exchange program or did you directly enroll in the foreign university? Direct Enrollment

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Advisers
  • Living near all the major sights
  • Weekend trips to other regions
* What could be improved?
  • School size
  • The variety of food
  • Apartment cleanliness/modernized
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I think students that adjust well to different situations would benefit most from this program and be most successful. I would remind students that this is a program for the very open minded and patient people. Not for someone who overstresses, but is relaxed under pressure.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Elementary Italian I

Course Department: ITL 111
Instructor: Elisabetta Alcini
Instruction Language: Italian
Comments: This course was very interesting. My teacher is a great professoressa for beginners because she is patient and always helps out. I always felt that it was easy to keep on track and slowly but surely pick up the Italian language.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Italian Grand Tour

Course Department: LIT 350 R
Instructor: Patricia Gaborik
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This course was very challenging. If you don't enjoy reading do NOT take this course. We were required to read 3 books along with other short stories. This class was more similar to courses at a home university. Critical thinking is thoroughly exaggerated in this class, and lectures about writers from the 17th/18th century get very boring. Homework is not difficult (1 page response per week), although she can be a tough grader. She is extremely smart and very easy to get along with, but she has high expectations of her students. It is VERY hard to get an A!
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Travel Writing

Course Department: WRI 290 R
Instructor: Katie McGovern
Instruction Language: English
Comments: I would definitely recommend this class to any student! I had an excellent teacher and she is extremely open to creativity and ideas. She is very accepting and most of the work done in class was peer review. There was not a ton of homework, just a creative writing piece each week. I always felt very welcomed and successful in this class.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Art History I

Course Department: ART 180 R
Instructor: Olivia Ercoli
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Our teacher is an extremely nice professor but expects a lot from beginners. The class information was disorganized occasionally, making it difficult to study for the test. Our entire class (4 of us) were unaware we had to write a paper for the midterm since it was never discussed. She graded our 9 page research papers pretty tough considering none of us were art historians. Although I learned more about art in Italy, the class was harder than I expected and is entirely unrelated to my major.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Italian Wine and Culture

Course Department: NUH 170 R
Instructor: Sarah May Grunwald
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This course was fantastic! It was easier than I expected, and we were not required to memorize the grapes, wine making process, or regions. This class helped me learn to take good notes (to use for quizzes). I also learned how significant wine and food are in Italian culture. We took a field trip to a winery and enoteca, which was fun and educational. We had the opportunity to taste all different wines of Italy, and our teacher was amazing. She is extremely knowledgeable and so much fun to be around.
Credit Transfer Issues: