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By (Undecided, Loyola University Chicago) - abroad from 08/26/2012 to 06/30/2013 with

Loyola University Chicago: Rome - John Felice Rome Center

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was the best year I could have ever asked for. Both the ups and downs made me grow and mature and become more and more independent, which was definitely a goal I had for the year. Travel has also become a completely new learning experience, one that I learned to appreciate differently. Rome in general though, taught me to live life in peace, in the moment, and to see that there is something beautiful and loveable in everything and everyone.

Review Photos

Loyola University of Chicago: Rome - John Felice Rome Center Photo Loyola University of Chicago: Rome - John Felice Rome Center Photo Loyola University of Chicago: Rome - John Felice Rome Center Photo Loyola University of Chicago: Rome - John Felice Rome Center Photo Loyola University of Chicago: Rome - John Felice Rome Center Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I did the Rome Start Program, so the base of our curriculum was general core and I think the program was very good with classes and professors. In addition, we had the chance to take some courses towards our major, if available.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The John Felice Rome Center is my home and every single person there became my family. I absolutely love it there and I can not wait to go back to hopefully become a SLA!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The rooms are generally small but it's not that bad, really, it's totally do-able. It doesn't take too much time for those bunk beds to grow on you and miss them during every trip you take!

* Food:

The food we had for lunch and dinner at mensa (italian word for cafeteria) was pretty good and it consisted for a full italian meal (first and second dishes, sides such as vegetables, fruits, a salad bar and desert).

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Since I spent an entire year in Rome with the JFRC (I did my freshman year there as well as the summer that followed), I was able to really feel integrated in italian culture, I feel that I learned a lot about the Italian people and what's acceptable and not and just how to live among them and with them. Rome is my home.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

There is a doctor and a psychologist on campus and you can go during certain times of the week. If you were to need immediate assistance or it was of higher emergency, the SLAs will help you every step and take you to the nearest hospital.

* Safety:

It is completely safe. The campus is located on a very safe neighbourhood called Monte Mario and there is 24-hr security as well as security cameras all over campus.

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)

Rome is not the cheapest city but you can definitely find more affordable restaurants and shops and whatnot.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? I think on average I would spend about 40 euros a week, not counting weekend trips we would take from time to time.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? It's nice to go out for a meal every so often especially because it IS Italy but it's something you can definitely spend less on, especially once you know where the hole-in-the-wall restaurants (which have the best food to, by the way!). When planning trips, really take the time to research hostels because they can get pretty cheap or pretty expensive. Try to stay away from the touristy traps!


* 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

I ended up speaking Italian every day and it was great!

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Italian 103
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? Practice practice practice practice! And don't be shy about it because Italians love it when you make an effort!!

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
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?
  • JFRC's staff/faculty
  • Travel opportunities
  • I got most of my core done in one year!
* What could be improved?
  • Hopefully the wifi will get a bit faster
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Pre-booking some trips can save lots of money on flights, but aside from that not much because I really enjoyed learning what I did along the way.

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 Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.