When in Rome Past Review

By (History, University of California - Los Angeles) for

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Being in Rome has allowed me to see things in a different light and has helped me to discover what I'm truly passionate about. It helped me to have a larger perspective of the world we live in. I am more open minded and comfortable interacting with new cultures and embrace new opportunities. It's definitely changed me for the better.

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.

A lot of people assume that I am here in Italy having the time of my life and disregarding all academic matters. They're right in that I am having the time of my life, but not necessarily correct by assuming that's all I'm doing. I didn't know what to expect in terms of academics coming into this "study abroad" experience, but I can truly say that I am learning so much more than I had anticipated. Not only is this helping me make decisions for the future, it is also making my entire experience abroad so valuable and indescribably amazing. While I am here, I am recognizing my growing interest in political development, which is largely a result of what I'm learning in all my courses here at John Cabot. Being here has allowed me to see things in a different light and has helped me to discover what I'm truly passionate about. The size of the classes here at JCU are a lot smaller compared to my classes at my home university. This has allowed me to feel more comfortable voicing my opinions in class and has helped me to learn so much through simple classroom discussions. I know I'll carry with me this knowledge and experience as I continue to pursue higher education.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I've been so impressed by the superior care and attention that SAI has provided the students in this program. The accommodations organized by the program were far greater than I had expected. SAI also really impressed me with their careful handling of all the proper documentations, organization of inclusive events, and assistance with any kind of additional questions and services one might require. Unlike other students that I've met here in alternative programs, I definitely feel safe with SAI here and have complete assurance that I'm in great hands. I've already recommended the program to all my friends and 2 have already signed up for next semester!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Everything about the housing situation was amazing. The location, the apartment itself, roommates and all the amenities included were all higher than any expectation that I had. I was placed in an apartment in Trastevere, a very beautiful part of Rome. I lived in a 4 bedroom apartment that was much larger, cleaner and newer than I had expected. We had 8 balconies that overlooked the streets of Rome with natural sunlight and very a spacious kitchen, living room and dining room. Bedsheets were included as well as kitchenware.

* Food:

The food in Italy is absolutely fantastic! The restaurants in this area are relatively cheap and very delicious. The Italian food in Rome will taste better than anywhere else! If you're on a budget, the supermarkets in Rome also have cheap groceries that you can bring home and cook in your apartment.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

My most favorite trip has to have been the trip to Tuscany organized by SAI. Our weekend trip to the region of Maremma in Southern Tuscany was one of the most relaxing weekends of the year. We stayed at the resort, Residence Terme di Sorano where we ate local traditional food, enjoyed our thermal baths, massages, rode on horses through a winery, and tasted local wine and cheese. SAI also took us to visit the towns of Sovana & Pitigliano which were some of the most unique and interesting places I've ever been to. The quaint town of Pitligano was one of my favorite places I've been to in Italy, if not Europe. The best part about this entire weekend was that everything was inclusive...(in other words, free!) Everything from our mini-tours, transportation, meals, activities were all included and provided for by the program. It was nice to enjoy a planned trip instead of doing the planning and organizing myself.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I have been to the doctor twice and both times were covered by the health insurance that SAI provided. It was a quick and very simple process and SAI always followed up to see if everything was okay and that my needs were met. I was really thankful to have them there when I didn't feel well and was assured that I'd be taken care of in a quick manner.

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?
  • Availability
  • Genuine Care
  • Accommodations
* What could be improved?
  • Wouldn't change a thing
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I can say without a doubt that making the decision to study abroad in Rome was by far one of the greatest decisions I've made in my college career. I say with so much certainity that I will carry with me these stories and adventures to share with family and friends for the rest of my life. I highly recommend students to study abroad through SAI in hopes that more students will be able to have same enriching experience as me.