Macerata--The hidden Italian Gem Past Review

By (Italiana Arte, cultura e lingua, Oakland University) - abroad from 09/05/2011 to 12/17/2011 with

University of Macerata: Macerata - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned SO much! The classes which were great--Italian Art History [A NEED to take're living where it all began!], Italian Music History, Cross cultural communication, and Italian language. We would learn about a particular fresco or gregorian chant in music on Tuesday, and then by friday we were on a field trip seeing the fresco and chanting in a 1000 year old basilica. That was fantastic. Not only with classes, but I learned so much about life and myself while abroad. I have a better understanding of international people. I have a different look of how people perceive the US. I was past the vacation stage in Italy--I lived there for 5 months! I saw what the US looked like from the outside. I have also learned who my friends are. It's weird how much you don't think you will change--but as long as you are open to experiencing new things--you will change. And it is for the good. It made me realize what I want out of life and who I want to share that with. I dream about Macerata all the time and how it has made a new life for me. Macerata is my home and I miss it so much, and am so glad I chose to do it.

Review Photos

University of Macerata: Macerata - Direct Enrollment & Exchange Photo University of Macerata: Macerata - Direct Enrollment & Exchange Photo University of Macerata: Macerata - Direct Enrollment & Exchange Photo University of Macerata: Macerata - Direct Enrollment & Exchange Photo University of Macerata: Macerata - Direct Enrollment & Exchange Photo

Personal Information

If you took classes at multiple universities, list those universities here: Universita degli studi di Macerata
How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

When comparing this program to other AHA programs that friends of mine took part in, the Macerata program really blew them out of the water! This was an amazing experience and I wish I could have stayed for a full year. The program director, Filiberto, is like a second father to me, as well as his wife, Angelica, a second mother. They made not only my time, but everyone else in the program's experience so enriched. They wanted to show us their country and wanted us to be apart of it. Open arms to a foreign culture that blew my mind!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Filiberto, Serena, and Angelica were FANTASTIC! They helped you immediately with any thing you needed!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Italian Dormitory--Just like an American one, but more privacy. There is a community kitchen where you meet many students, not only Italian, but other exchange students from around the world! Some of my fondest memories were eating dinner with the Polish kids!

* Food:

There are student Cafeterias that you can use, but I only used them a handful of times. Cafeteria food in Italy is WAY better than in America haha

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I have blond hair and blue Italians automatically pegged me as not being Italian. This helped me, I think. When I would go into markets and start speaking slow Italian--they would realize "Oh! He's from Germany, or somewhere up there. I should speak slow". I got the "Are you from Germany" all the time. Otherwise, I felt very welcomed and at home in this wonderful little town!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I did have health issues while abroad. The doctor was a phone call away and was able to set up an appointment, even though Italians do not make appointments--they just show up and wait in line. For all tests I needed, I was met by the program directors and they made sure I was ok! In a time where even I thought I didn't need help from my parents--they stepped in and were my parents when mine were 5,000 miles away in the US.

* Safety:

Macerata was safer than where I had come from haha No crime at all, no issues anywhere, anytime. You could walk back to your apartment at 3am and be completely fine, which I did on many an occasion.

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)

If you are a good student budgeter, you will be fine. Plan it like you would a normal semester--but make sure you do not skimp at the same time. You are in ITALY! Live life! If you want to go to Venice for the weekend--plan accordingly! If you want to go to Oktoberfest--plan accordingly. Food is VERY cheap in Italy--and it is SO fresh. I love to cook, so maybe it was easier for me to do this. At the same time, the other people in my program who lived together in the apartments did just fine! We would have big family dinners multiple times a week, where you would just bring a dish to pass or a bottle of vino.

* Was housing included in your program cost? Yes
* Was food included in your program cost? No
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? €40 at the very most--I bought normal packages--so, some could last me 2 weeks. You generally buy fresh the day of, because fridges ARE so small.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Be smart about what you are spending your money on. Do not buy a t-shirt at every excursion you go on (there are many!). Plan ahead--know that you will want to spend money in Florence and Rome (learn to haggle--it's worth while. EVERYTHING is negotiable in Italy. EVERYTHING.) as well as your own weekend trips and 10 day break. On my 10 day break, I went with two of my best friends I met from my program and we really budgeted. RYANAIR. EASYJET. Know these! I went to Madrid for a weekend, Stayed with a friend living there, my flight only costing me €25! Ancona airport is nearest to Macerata (an hour train ride)--Direct flights to Madrid, London, Stockholm, Brussels, Dusseldorf (Germany), Sicily, and Sardinia.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
  • Apartment
* 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
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 10+

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Support of on-site director/staff
  • Location--Between the Apennine Mountains and the Adriatic Sea (Everyday after class we would go to the beach).
  • Actually learned Italian because it was NOT TOURISTY like Florence or Rome
* What could be improved?
  • Make the program longer! I would have loved to stay for a year :)
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Italian. I do wish I had taken a year of Italian before. It definitely is not needed and look! I survived! But, it would have made communication easier. Learning Italian in class was AWESOME because you could go out afterwards and practice--except I sometimes couldn't respond because I only learned so much that day haha. Even taking some form of a romance language would have been beneficial--Many classmates had Spanish or French previous and made the switch just fine. I took German in high school and college, so I was out of luck. Though--when I did go to Spain for a weekend, my Italian helped me SO much there with Spanish!

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 Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.