Semester in Rome: More travels, less Loyola Past Review

By (Mass Communication, Fordham University) - abroad from 08/27/2013 to 12/13/2013 with

Loyola University Chicago: Rome - John Felice Rome Center

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned about so many different cultures and ways of living. It was extremely worthwhile and now I know how other people and societies conduct their lives. I didn't love everything about Rome (some terrible locals) so I spent A LOT of time traveling during most of my weekends which was amazing - i experienced amazing food, cultures and people.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Decent intensity depending on the classes and professors you take. On-site courses seemed to be more interesting.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

There are RAs who live on your floors and will doc you or tell you to quiet down after 10 pm...Higher administration is all very nice and helpful & the cafeteria staff is so sweet -the RAs are nice and fun too but they were really annoying about quiet hours.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

This is one of the main things I disliked about the program. The building/campus itself is nice - the room & communal bathrooms is fine. However, the campus is located an HOUR away from downtown Rome. Also, the only practical way to travel is by bus (the metro is far) and Italian buses really have no schedule. (although in the last wk, my friend found an app that told Italian bus arrival times at our stop). Also, no wifi in the bedrooms.

* Food:

The food was okay. You get two meals daily-lunch and dinner. Sometimes it was really terrible and other times it was good. Just go out downtown and eat more there - best food in Europe!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Pretty integrated - the last week of the semester, I ventured out alone everyday because my friends were all studying for finals but I wanted to go on my last adventures. Going to markets and restaurants were so fun and the people at those places were very nice to me - not always a thing to find in Rome.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

The on-campus doc comes twice a week which is okay but not if your condition is severe. There's a separate medical center you can go too if it is urgent or need more than a basic doctor.

* Safety:

The one great thing about campus besides its beauty (olive groves!) is the security of the gated campus. There's a security guard and you have to show your ID in the evenings. Visitors aren't allowed to sleep over and can only visit campus for a short amount of time.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No


* 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? less than 50 euro
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Book trips in advance!! Especially far away locations like London. Bought that during the summer and was SO glad I did. Also, bring a USB so you don't need to pay for printing in the case you run out of money on your printing card.


* 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

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? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? No italian
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Go out and interact with people at markets & restaurants. Places in areas like Trastevere and Piazza Navona will try to speak English to accomodate you but just practice your Italian anyways! Especially at food markets, many Romans can be friendly and try to answer your questions. Going alone could work better so push yourself to go downtown even when your friends are busy.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Roommate
  • Italian Class
  • Beach trip and Tuscany trip
* What could be improved?
  • Location
  • Food
  • Administration - SLAs
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? The true location of the campus(site says half an hour but really an hour at the least). NO WIFI IN THE BEDROOMS!!! The RAs that lived on our floors. Quiet hours after 10 pm everyday. The fact that there wasn't even a kitchen that we could cook in.