Experience of a lifetime! Past Review

By (Carroll University) - abroad from 08/25/2015 to 05/07/2016 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained a sense of self-worth and understanding while abroad. I am not afraid to go out of my comfort zone and I owe everything to this incredible experience.

Review Photos

SAI Programs: Rome - John Cabot University Photo SAI Programs: Rome - John Cabot University Photo SAI Programs: Rome - John Cabot University Photo SAI Programs: Rome - John Cabot University Photo SAI Programs: Rome - John Cabot University Photo

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.

SAI provided me with the experience of a lifetime! The academics at John Cabot were once in a lifetime; they offer many unique classes you cannot take anywhere else, including an on-site history class, neighborhoods of Rome, and so many more! I learned a new language and made friends of a lifetime. Volunteer opportunities are highly encouraged and I had the opportunity to volunteer at the local Refugee Center with other John Cabot University students.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The onsite support was incredible and the excursions were indescribable. If you ever have any questions, your onsite staff are readily available with insider information! Studying abroad with SAI was by far one of the best decisions I could have made!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The housing options were very nice. I lived in the center of Rome 5 minutes from John Cabot, surrounded by amazing smells and history around every corner. Each semester I shared a room with one other student in an apartment with 4 or 6 students total. There were two bathrooms, which was greatly appreciated, a homely kitchen, and a lively living room- a place to call home.

* Food:

Best food ever. Hands down. Without a doubt. You are in Italy- known for its pasta, pizza, and gelato. You cannot go wrong. Definitely enjoy the authentic gelato while you can! 10/10

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I had the opportunity to have Italian neighbors, classes with international students from all over the world and on site classes that taught me the history of ancient Rome. Volunteer opportunities also added a sense of belonging.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I never had any health issues while abroad but there are pharmacies with English speaking doctors and the onsite staff can always direct you in the right direction. You are also provided with health insurance through SAI, which helps put your mind at ease.

* Safety:

I felt completely safe and at ease the entire year while abroad. The location is incredible and I never once worried about my safety, even lost at 5 in the morning. Most people know English and it can be a fun experience to get a little lost. Be aware of your surroundings and be responsible but I never once felt unsafe.

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

SAI was the best possible option for me in the best city in the world! (No, I'm not biased ;) Words cannot describe the amazing experience I had, in Rome, at John Cabot University, and with SAI!


* 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)

I pay for college myself and saved like crazy to have this incredible experience and Rome is by far the best city to have studied abroad in on my budget. Everything was very affordable. I splurged a little when it came to traveling to as many places as possible because when are you going to have this experience again? Worth every penny!

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 75
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Decide what you want to splurge on and what you can be more fiscally responsible on. I went grocery shopping and made my own food most of the time and used that saved money to travel to more countries (12 European countries!) One weekend in Amsterdam my roommate and I bought a fancy wheel of cheese and chowed down on that for most meals. These money saving stories are some of the best memories!


* 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

SAI acknowledges that not every student is capable to learn an entirely new language but they encourage every student to try. They offer an intense Italian class before classes start to teach students the basics.

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? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? I study Spanish, Italian was a new ball park for me!
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? Go out and try speaking Italian with the locals! You may not have perfect grammar or vocab but people appreciate the effort and are always willing to help out!

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

  • 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?
  • Excursions
  • Onsite Staff
  • Housing
* What could be improved?
  • Many students from the same university already had cliques
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Don't bring too much luggage with you when you go abroad! You will come home with more than you leave with and trudging everything through the airport can be a hassle by yourself!

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
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.