The trip was a historical, adventurous and great learning experience for me. Past Review

By (Elementary Education, University of Northern Iowa) - abroad from 06/02/2012 to 06/25/2012 with

University of Northern Iowa: Capstone in Southern Italy

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I have gained more friends and am able to be more social in a group setting then before going ton the trip. It was definitely worthwhile.

Personal Information

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Our instructor has been there before and knew exactly what to do and where to go. It seemed to be a smooth transition.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Our group was split up in Palermo and did not have directions, and thus I felt we were not prepared as we could have been for the place. Overall I was satisfied with the housing I was in.

* Food:

I branched out and tried new things and went to the grocery store. Also. I we had group dinners where we helped out with the cooking and preparation of food.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

At some times I felt like I could have been integrated in the culture more, but overall I feel like I knew how to be an Italian.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Be bold when crossing streets, and don't wait for a big opening. Italians drive close together and fast.

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)

Some of the places where harder than others to spend little money. On the island I spent maybe $50 worth of food, and in Salemi I spent less than that. The places that required the most money were Rome and Palermo. Souvenirs were my biggest expense, but I knew that going into the trip.

* Was housing included in your program cost? Yes
* Was food included in your program cost? Yes
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? make a budget that is reasonable and adjust it to the places you are going. For instance Rome you will need the most money for meals and souvenirs. The other places are cheaper, but are harder to split bills, so have them split before arriving.


* 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

If we were to order anything or buy anything it was all in Italian, and thus we spoke to communicate in a daily way. The language was not hard for me to pick up since I knew Spanish.

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? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? I took Spanish for four years in high school, but speak it with my friends.
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? Have a conversation only in the language at least three times before going. Practice some of the phrases and common words to know what the Italians are saying. Bring a dictionary/phrase book with you.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
  • Hostel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* 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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • New people I met in my group
  • Using the history from books to real life
  • class discussions and journals to think about
* What could be improved?
  • knowing not able to split big money amounts
  • how to get around and where to go in the cities
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Get more Euros out before leaving for the trip, it cost money to get it out and the bills are larger over there.