Amazing semester in Rome August 08, 2022

By (Middlebury College) - abroad from 02/07/2022 to 06/30/2022 with

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury in Rome

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was absolutely worthwhile! For starters I learned Italian. I also learned to make human connections when conditions for sociability are imperfect (language and timing), I learned to live almost entirely independently and manage my budget and time.

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.

The Middlebury courses were not very rigorous but the university courses were, especially from a language perspective. This balance allowed for time to experience the culture and learn the language through interactions with local people.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The on-site administration was very efficient when it came to housing and finding internships however they were very much not clearly communicating about cultural outings organized by the program, what needed to be done by the student v. what was already taken care of, and the class registration process (they actually did not know the starting date for my course so I missed the first class).

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Quite satisfied, the room was spacious, clean and luminous. I had my own bathroom and a kitchen access which was great. However, I find it quite problematic that the cheapest option offered by the program was $725 monthly including expenses for a single room!

* Food:

Food was great, I had kitchen access so I could cook whatever I wanted.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Quite integrated, actually more than I thought I would. I interacted with my landlord who lived with me, the shop owners on my street and the students at university!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I did not have health issues so I cannot speak on that. However, nothing was said that I remember about mental health resources.

* Safety:

I felt quite safe for a big city. However, cat calling is much more rampant than in the US and women should be prepared for this eventuality to occur multiple times.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

I loved this program because it gave me the independence and space from my US school I wanted. It also gave me the opportunity to do an amazing internship with local people which was one of the highlights of my time abroad. I adored the city of Rome, its energy, warmth and comforting chaos and Italians have my heart!


* 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)

Food was quite cheap and so is coffee so it is easy to live on a student budget. However there is a lot to see in Italy and travelling by nature can be quite costly ! There are cheaper alternatives (bus and slower trains) than allow you to go visit many gorgeous cities at lower prices :)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? About 100 for food a week and about 750$ a month including travels and cultural outings.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Eat at home, go to Erasmus event (cheaper than normal events), go to bars in the university district (San Lorenzo) instead of touristy neighborhood, use buses to travel from major city to major city or book a couple months in advance for cheap flights in Europe. You can also find a babysitting job easily on Facebook groups like Babysitter in Lingua that look for English-speaking nannies.


* 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

The language pledge is a great tool to speak the language and it is very much encourage by the program, however it's really how much you make of it that will determine your use of the foreign language.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Fluent
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Italian 252
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? Don't worry about getting awkward and making mistakes! Italians are very understanding and kind with people who try to speak their language. Speak with your friends on the program, they are going to be the people you spend most time with so if you start speaking English with them you'll loose on 80% of the language practice.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students
  • Other
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Rome, the city.
  • The people I have met (students, professors, shop owners, Erasmus students, etc.)
  • My internship at the City of Rome.
* What could be improved?
  • The on-site administration's communication
  • The system to participate in the cultural outing organized by the program either individually or through the courses offered
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Travelling is expensive and there is a lot to see in Italy so save up as much as you can and budget wisely.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Public Economics and Finance

Course Department: Political Science
Instructor: Garzarelli
Instruction Language: Italian
Comments: Yes! This course was a great level of challenging, enough to feel like I was learning but not too much that I dropped out to chose an easier one. The material was quite interesting even though it was more US oriented than I thought as I was expecting to learn about the Italian system. The professor was very understanding about my different needs and sent me the power point so I could study them and printed the final exam since I didn't have an institutional email address.
Credit Transfer Issues: No, although I have not yet done the process for major requirements.