A beautiful experience I wish everyone could have March 27, 2023

By (Marketing, Digital Media, Saint Mary's College of California) - abroad from 08/31/2022 to 12/17/2022 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained so much knowledge that I did not have before. I learned a new language, how to live in a city, surviving without a car (so easy), and how to budget my own money. It was truly worthwhile.

Review Photos

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

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Classes were like my home school classes. College/university level, so definitely had to put some work in, but nothing a college student cannot handle.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

They had open office hours everyday, and it was very easy to contact them whenever you had a question or a comment. They were the sweetest team, and handled concerns very appropriately.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Housing was one of the things I was worried about, but I was placed with other people who were in my grade and studying the same subjects I was, and they were very interested in traveling around Italy and the rest of Europe with me. I would say I am very pleased with the house situation. The apartment was a typical Italian apartment, so there are no complaints.

* Food:

Italy has delicious food. If you want good pasta, you will have good pasta. Obviously they do not have many different kinds of cuisines as much as America does, but they do have certain Asian restaurants around Rome that helped cravings of something other than Italian food!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

It took some time to understand and get use to the different culture, but as long as you are respectful towards it you will fall in love with it. Italian culture is very different than anything I am use to, so it was exciting to experience it for many months and continue it back at home.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

There was an onsite doctor that would visit apartments that was very helpful and kind.

* Safety:

If you are in a city, then you have to understand that it is busy and something can and will happen to you if you are not making smart decisions. I was always walking around the city with friends and making sure I knew what to do incase something happens to me. When you are out at night, make sure you are always with people and you are capable of getting home safely. Make smart decisions and you will be just fine.

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

I think I picked the perfect location, program, and time of year to study abroad. It was perfect. And I would do it all over again and only change little things about my experience.


* 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)

Food was relatively cheap in Rome. IF you budget accordingly, you will just fine. Do not be afraid to spend money there though! You are in a new place for only a certain amount of time!

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Less than $100
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? When traveling, only bring a backpack to save money on extra bag fees. Traveling will only be weekend trips so a backpack is all you need, pack light, and wear bigger clothes and shoes on the planes. Our plane outfits were so funny, and necessary especially in the colder months.


* 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

It was not necessary to learn it, but you pick it up as you live there.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Beginner
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Intermediate

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
  • The location
  • The activities the program planned for us
* What could be improved?
  • I wish there were more students
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? How much money I was actually going to spend