I found myself even though I didn't know I was lost. Past Review

By (PSYCHOLOGY., Austin College) - abroad from 08/27/2013 to 12/14/2013 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned that I take so many things for granted at home. These people take for granted that they live next door to some of the greatest monuments in the world and that they are surrounded by history. I thought that my family was annoying and that my friends weren't all that great, but i know now that I need them and that I could not have gotten through this semester without my friends at home. I learned about the social structure of past an present Rome, and even though the government has changed political structure, the poor are still outcasted. Homelessness is an epidemic that most Americans do their best to ignore, but it is so in your face here, when I get home I want to start volunteering to make a difference.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I did not think that some of the classes were up to par and that it was very disorganised at times. Some classes followed a typically class structure and some had no structure at all.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

They were helpful when approached, but I never felt like they gave as much attention to Study Abroad students as they did Degree Seekers.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I was placed into the largest apartment with 7 girls. It felt very cramped at times when compared to other apartments that only had 4 people in them. The apartment itself was nice and the maintenance people came quickly and got the job done. We had to call them a few times and they were always very nice.

* Food:

I loved all of the local food in the area. I would not recommend getting a meal plan if you do not live on campus. I got the lowest one and I have still not used all of the money that I put on the card.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Trastevere has become a tourist location so the locals all just assume that we are tourists. They only speak to us in English and are hostile at times. We were targeted by vendors more often than Italians. Specialty shops did try to talk to us and there were many times that I did feel like I was a part of the culture.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I went to see the doctor because of ear pain, SAI was very helpful and set up an appointment and gave me directions on how to get there. It was a very hard walk to get there though. The doctor spoke English and was very friendly. It felt just like a normal doctors office.

* Safety:

I felt on edge in large crowds in Rome. We heard stories of people getting mugged outside of ATMS. I would suggest to find the BNL because you go to a small inside room that is open 24 hours, and so you are not directly on the street. I never had a problem with getting pick pocketed or anything, but a friend of my got their iPhone stolen in a crowd outside of the Vatican. But I always had a bag that zipped shut and never kept things in my back pocket. When going out at night, only bring minimal things with you. SO many people lost credit cards, I would suggest only carrying one with you if you are going to carry it. So that if something does happen, you are not completely without access to money. We also had creepy people follow us home one night, I would not suggest a group of girls to go out alone, try to have atleast one guy with you.

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)

It really does depend on how you want to spend your money. If you travel, money disappears fast. Food is relatively cheap in Rome when compared to other places in Europe. But if you want to go drinking every night and weekend, it flies. I would suggest saving money at the start of your time so that you have it near the end.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 50 euro
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? DONT USE BUS2ALPS! They are a rip-off and you can plan the same trip for cheaper. Book airplane tickets AT LEAST a month in advance. There is cheap pasta, meat, cheese, bread, ect. at the smaller grocery stores, try to not spend your money on food, you will want it to do other things. Dont go to real stores, shop from the clothes and other vendors in the street and the huge market at Porta Portese on Sundays. You get more for your money there.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
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?
  • Living in an apartment with other Italians
  • Location to school and the city center
* What could be improved?
  • The people that SAI lets come here. I was VERY disappointed with how self centered most people were here and how they only cared about partying.
  • Teaching us how to use the public transportation
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? How unstructured most of the classes at JCU are.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Social Psychology

Course Department: Psycholog
Instructor: Castelli
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Great class, I had fun while in class and the professor was very helpful about explaining what she wanted out of our group projects and papers. She forced us to participate in class and didn't make going to class painful. The grading system was fair and there was exams, quizzes, and a group research project.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Urban Ecology

Course Department: Natural Science
Instructor: Kellner
Instruction Language: English
Comments: I loved this class. This professor was very knowledgeable and checked her email regularly. We took a field trip to one of the tallest buildings in Rome to see the visibility and PM count for the city center. We had 6 papers due throughout the semester along with the midterm and the final. It was a very balanced class and she was always prepared and took attendance. We were challenged to think critically about the environmental concerns of living in a city and how urban landscapes have changed over time and their effect on the environment.
Credit Transfer Issues: