I would most definitely recommend the USAC Viterbo program. Past Review

By (University of Maine - Orono) - abroad from 08/31/2016 to 12/19/2016 with

USAC Italy: Viterbo - Intensive Italian Language, History, and the Arts

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was absolutely worthwhile. It gives you more than foreign language experience. It gets you out of your comfort zone and makes you more adaptable. You also will be in scenarios where you will need problem solving skills. In my case, I also improved on my sense of direction immensely.

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 really enjoyed the classes that I had. I learned a lot of the Italian language, as well as learning about the Italian Cuisine and also working with Italian kids to help them improve their English.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The USAC adminstration are fantastic! They are usually often available if you need any help with anything.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in a homestay and my host family was absolutely fantastic. I felt as if I was one of the family. I will definitely keep in contact with them.

* Food:

Italian food in itself is synonymous with being good. I would highly recommend the prosciutto pizza at Pizzeria DJ. It is amazing. I'm also a big fan of Italian croissants which they call cornetti.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Viterbo is a small town and because it is a tight-knit community and not tourist oriented like Rome, the immersion that you experience is amazing! You really get to practice your Italian and get to know people in a culture that completely differs from your own.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I rate this slightly lower than the others just because I had to get a doctor's note because I was sick during a field study and had to withdraw. There was the issue of the language barrier that made it slightly difficult to communicate, but it was readily available and it was really close to the university.

* Safety:

Because Viterbo is such a small town, I found it to be very safe. All of the people that I met are very friendly and nice.

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

I would do it again in a heartbeat.


* 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? Not a lot, when you are in a homestay, you are granted 5 meals a week and the rest I probably spent 40 euro a week roughly
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Coins hold a lot more value than they do in the US. There are 1 euro and 2 euro coins. If your finances dwindle, take a look at the coins that you have. I had 16 euro in loose change once.


* 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? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Beginning Italian 2
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? Get yourself immersed. If you are in this program, it's easy to make Italian friends or interact with the Italian shopkeepers. Keep yourself speaking. Immersion is a really cool experience.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* 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?
  • The people
  • The classes
  • Immersion
* What could be improved?
  • Promptness
  • N/A
  • N/A
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That Europe is an incredible place and that I should've come a lot sooner.

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Italian Cuisine

Course Department:
Instructor: Sergio Grasso and Gaia Cottino
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This was the 3 credit lecture class. I enjoyed this, but at times, starting a 2.5 hour class at 8:30 in the morning was kind of rough. However, I did learn a lot of useful information.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Intermediate Italian

Course Department:
Instructor: Serena Marrocco
Instruction Language: Mostly Italian, clarification in English
Comments: I learned a lot in this class. I definitely was able to communicate with the Italians that I knew better after being in this class.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Italian Cuisine

Course Department:
Instructor: Renee Abou Joude
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This was probably my favorite class. We had four workshop sessions where we learned to cook foods from four different parts of Italy. I would highly recommend this class!
Credit Transfer Issues: