Hands down, the best experience of my life! Past Review

By (Auburn University) - abroad from 08/25/2015 to 12/10/2016 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned everything about myself and learned how to be independent and live in another culture. It was most definitely worthwhile!

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.

JCU was an awesome university with helpful professors and challenging classes. It was definitely just as good as my home university courses.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Our on-site administrators were always very helpful and attentive to all of my needs. From ordering me and my roommates a taxi to the airport on weekends, to scheduling dentist appointments, they were always willing to help.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My apartment was nice, clean, and spacious. However, it was one of the farthest from campus/the city than most of the others. Still, it was located in a nice and safe area.

* Food:

The best food in the world is in Rome! The most amazing little restaurants and cafes flood the city.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

In my opinion, as well as many others, Rome is one of the most culturally rich cities in the world. Everywhere I went, I was surrounded by their amazing and wonderfully diverse culture.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

My friend had to get a wisdom tooth pulled while in Italy. We went to a couple hospitals before being directed to a dentist. Everyone was very helpful and attentive to him everywhere we went. SAI staff assisted us in each step and came to the dentist appointment to translate and make sure everything went smoothly during the surgery. He experienced no problems in the surgery and recovered fully.

* Safety:

Rome is a very safe place - there are people everywhere all the time. We always walked everywhere in pairs or a group and didn't have any problems.

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

It would have been tough to navigate, learn, and become accustom to Rome without the help of SAI. They were so helpful in everything we needed, and they really do care about their students.


* 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)

Studying abroad is extremely costly; however, I was very prepared. Most money is spent on weekend travel and food. However, my roommates and I ate on campus during the week, cooked dinner, and travelled very economically - found flights/hotels for a good price. Those things helped a lot in saving money and spending it wisely.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 250
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Eat on campus - our university (JCU) had great food. Cook dinner - there are grocery stores and fresh food markets everywhere! Travel smart - you can find extremely cheap/safe flights and hotels/hostels wherever you go. Just do your research!


* 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

Orientation included an Italian 101 session, and SAI encouraged us to study Italian at JCU.

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? 4 years of high school Spanish
How many hours per day did you use the language? 0
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? I knew about four Italian words when I left, and came back knowing a good few words and phrases. While it is good to know the language, everyone in Italy speaks English. We never had any problems translating. However, I do wish I had learned more Italian before I left - Italians like and appreciate foreigners trying to learn their language!

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
  • International Students
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?
  • The people I met
  • Rome
  • Traveling Europe
* What could be improved?
  • Apartment locations
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I know how much fun it would be!

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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The Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.