Every Pound a Memory Past Review

By (History/Italian, The College of New Jersey) - abroad from 01/13/2015 to 05/01/2015 with

Study Abroad Programs in Italy

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned that it's easier to make a friend and be outgoing when the two of you speak different languages. There's something really exciting about two people working so hard to understand each other. Plus you already have something in common- you're both uncomfortable.

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.

I can honestly say that my Italian would not have improved nearly as much if I had been studying in some other city like Florence or Rome. Learning Italian alongside the native French and German speakers in my class was really valuable, plus our teacher was adorable.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

Every pound a memory.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

By the time I left Bologna, whenever I walked down the street I would be waving at some shop owner, street vendor, bartender, etc. that I had gotten to know during my stay. Bologna is a small and welcoming city- the transition from tourist to regular is super short.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

There are pharmacies on several different streets that will sell you the Italian equivalent to Tylenol and Advil. If you get really sick, there's an American doctor on the other side of the city that you can take a bus or taxi to if you don't feel up to walking.

* Safety:

Bologna was extremely safe, and I never had any issues. A few of my friends lost wallets in bars and discotecas, but that can easily be avoided with common sense and just being careful in general. I never witnessed any kind of danger worse than pickpocketing.

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)

It wasn't difficult to be frugal- the really popular foods like pizza and gelato are extremely inexpensive (one or two euros) and insanely high quality. There were some expenses that you didn't have a choice with- a few hundred dollars for each service trip (if you decide to go on them) and a few hundred dollars for your permit to stay. I spent a lot of money on gifts for my family/friends, but that's not necessary and you can easily avoid it. For reference: over the whole 4 months I spent about $3500.


* 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

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Some 300 level Italian course
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? You get what you give. Put yourself in situations that make you a little uncomfortable language-wise and you'll excel way faster than sitting in a room with a bunch of other English speakers practicing vocab with flashcards.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • 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 international friends I made in every city I visited.
  • The American friends I made who adventured with me.
  • Waking up every morning knowing that I'd see something that I'd never seen before, and will never see again.
* What could be improved?
  • The mattresses were pretty uncomfortable.
  • It would be nice if the trip was a few weeks longer!
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Remember to bring some kind of waterproof shoes and an umbrella- when it rains you still have to walk across the city to your class. And definitely bring some warm winter clothes if you're going spring semester! Heels aren't necessary, just don't. And don't be afraid to talk to people...even if it goes badly, you're literally fleeing the country so it really doesn't matter at all.

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.