Back in America with a whole new perspective! Past Review

By (Human Development, Family Studies, and Related Services., University of Northern Iowa) - abroad from 05/13/2014 to 06/03/2014 with

University of Northern Iowa: Capstone in Southern Italy

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I have learned so much through studying abroad. You not only learn about another culture and the values, morals, and history they have but you also learn more about your own culture. There are things that you do not recognize or appreciate about the country you live in until you have exposure to another country. You learn to be open to new things, thoughts, and people. My experience was worthwhile and I am looking forward to the next time I can travel and learn from another culture!

Review Photos

University of Northern Iowa: Traveling - UNI Capstone in Southern Italy Photo University of Northern Iowa: Traveling - UNI Capstone in Southern Italy Photo University of Northern Iowa: Traveling - UNI Capstone in Southern Italy Photo University of Northern Iowa: Traveling - UNI Capstone in Southern Italy Photo University of Northern Iowa: Traveling - UNI Capstone in Southern Italy 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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The majority of the places we stayed were very welcoming, clean, and safe. One of the places we stayed at in Rome felt unsafe.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Our group participated in local customs and experiences, which was very exciting! I would have liked to have more experiences with locals.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I personally did not have any health issues during the program but another student had twisted her ankle during one of our outings. Health care was not easily accessible in the area we were in so she had to wait several days to see a professional. In the meantime it was very disruptive to the course of our trip.

* Safety:

Other than the place we stayed at in Rome, Hotel Caput Mundi, I felt very safe with the other living arrangements and with the group. We had a student have a phone stolen. Personally, I would never put my phone down on the table, it was always in my purse which was strapped over my body and sat on my lap (which I would recommend, a student from our group had someone attempt to grab her purse as they walked past her on the street.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Around $100
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I took advantage of the grocery stores (especially when visiting Sicily), you will save a ton of money by making your own meals. Also, when eating out ask if another student would like to split the meal with you because the portions in many sit down restaurants are very big. In preparation for your trip, I would pack some snack foods to bring along and a water bottle. Water is very expensive (especially in Rome), I had packed a water bottle and would fill it up during our day trips at the public water fountains.


* 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

I wish I would have used the resources provided by my instructor prior to the trip to learn more of the language. However, while we were there we learned some helpful words and phrases so that we could find our way around the Italy.

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? Beginner
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? I would download the app "duolingo" prior to studying abroad. The app is very helpful and is easy to build up your knowledge of the language.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Hotel
  • Hostel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local 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?
  • I really enjoyed viewing and learning about all of the historical sites in Italy.
  • I loved the adventure of the trip! I have experienced hiking two volcanoes, swimming in the Mediterranean Sea, exploring caves and their drawings, and taking a sulfur bath! All of these things are lifetime memories that I am so thankful to have!
  • Exposure to a different culture was very eye-opening! I liked learning about the family life in Italy (as my major is in Family Services), I was interested in seeing family functions in the Italian culture! Exposure to the food and language is also one of my most favorite parts of the trip!
* What could be improved?
  • Other living arrangements in Rome for safety reasons.
  • Group activities prior to the trip so that students are familiar with their entire group before studying abroad.
  • I would have liked to have more experiences with locals to draw from. Other than in Trapani & Lipari, we had little interaction with locals.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Prior to studying abroad, I wish I would have known that the group I was travelling with was so friendly and helpful!

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.