Roma, an Opportunity to Learn of Myself and Importances Past Review

By (Marketing., Western Washington University) for

SAI Study Abroad: Rome - John Cabot University (JCU)

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Glad I did it, it was a lot harder than I had expected mentally and emotionally. When you come to a new country by yourself and don't have good friends and family accessible at all times and you have a different time zone, not to mention language barrier things can get frustrating. I don't regret doing it, it was costly but I learned a lot internally and externally! I probably wouldn't want to live in Rome again and definitely went through many highs and lows however I know the time here will benefit me in the long run and make me a stronger person.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

John Cabot has much smaller class sizes allowing you to be more involved with the class. The teachers expect generally quite good attendance. There was a lot of diversity in teaching styles as some teachers were Italian, but many were american. There is no class on fridays which is nice but you usually have plenty of schoolwork to keep you busy depending on your classes.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Good planned side trips. They kind of just throw you in at the beginning. I wish they had explained a few more things before going abroad maybe. I didn't originally realize how much of a separate entity they were from the school, this isn't necessarily a negative thing though. One improvement the SAI program could make is matching roommates better. When people have totally different time schedules, lifestyle choices, and are disrespectful it makes being abroad harder. As nice as it is to learn to live with different types of people many had some problems that could have been solved by pairing better.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Many appliances, cookware etc were lacking in the house. Part of this is because they are less common in Italy, but also partly because our apartment was lacking. Expect long drying times because everything is hung to dry which means by the end of inter clothes start smelling like mildew sometimes. The rooms were decent and good sized but there was very little comfort or common space in the apartment. It was a very noisy place to sleep but also located very conveniently

* Food:

Food in Italy is very expensive. White bread, white pasta, wine, and coffee however are fairly priced. Probably not the easiest place for a vegan or vegetarian to eat. Very few places have bad food in Italy. They aren't extremely health conscious here however and don't really understand it if you are. There is very good gelato (Gelataria al Teatro, San Crispino, Giolliti) and Many good fresh pasta and traditional Roman dishes in Trastevere. Depending on your idea of pizza there are a million pizza places that are very good and it is a common thing to eat often here, though much of it isn't exactly like that of the states. For unique pizza try pizzarium near the vatican! Also there are many good local bakeries that sell various cookies and pastries including brutti ma buoni cookies (toasted hazelnut) and ammarettis.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

One mistake many study abroad americans make is sticking very closely to their own American world. If you want to experience the people and the culture you certainly can do so. One thing I did to immerse myself differently is contacted the small Bed and Breakfast my parents stayed at when they visited. It is run by a friendly Italian family. I wrote them a nice letter asking if I could help them serve breakfast a couple mornings a week. In exchange they help me with my Italian and I get coffee and breakfast out of the deal which is also nice. Also walking around and keeping up to date with events circulating of making Italian friends is certainly possible if you go out of your way to do it. The weekend in Tuscany and all of the day trips were nice! Good food etc. Be sure to take advantage of all of these, all the cooking classes etc!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Its a fairly safe city. I heard many stories of pickpockets but I think that is mostly in regard to the touristy areas. I felt safe walking home alone at any time. If you pay attention you should safe near traffic, however people here aren't the best drivers. I am not sure if my program would realize if I was gone for awhile however? Italians do thing at their own pace so I am not sure about the healthcare, it seemed comparable.

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)


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?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Weekend Trips I personally Planned
  • We didnt have to live in the JCU residence as they are like strict dorms!
  • Activities planned by program
* What could be improved?
  • Apartment logistics planning/ roommate matching
  • More help to immerge us in the culture while we are in Rome
  • Connecting with individual Italians, more opportunities to do unique things and less time spent studying
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Validate your train tickets, don't waste your time and money going out and getting drunk with other students every night, immerse yourself in people and places around you and really be open to all the learning you can. Also LEARN AS MUCH of the LANGUAGE as possible! The more you know the better you can get around in your host country it is amazingly beneficial.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Ancient Roman Monuments

Course Department: AH 290
Instructor: Nolan
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Probably more challenging than most students were expecting. Long class times but very interesting to learn the history of the city we actually are in and visit the historic sites!
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Business Communications

Course Department: BUS 220
Instructor: Favorite
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Excellent course with skills learned that were extremely applicable to the real world. Picky grader but a very informative useful instructor!
Credit Transfer Issues: