IES Abroad Rome - Study Rome: Language & Area Studies

Video and Photos

About

No matter what your level of Italian language proficiency, this program is for you. Students enroll in an Italian language course and choose from a variety of other courses, taught in both English and Italian.

Rome will be your classroom. Can you imagine places like the Vatican, Pantheon, the Forum, or the Coliseum being part of your education? Welcome to study abroad! Wherever possible our courses take advantage of the city’s many opportunities through a series of course-related field studies to many historical, artistic, and cultural sites.

You can also enroll in courses at a local university, where you will experience first-hand the Italian educational system. Maybe you’ll even make some Italian friends while you’re at it.

Questions & Answers

Our best guess is yes, because the weekends aren't scheduled. We also found this on the program site: "Our courses are experiential in nature, and we organize more than 150 course-related trips each semester to historic, artistic, and cultural sites that take advantage of the city’s many opportunities." Hope that helps!
our housing options were either 1) with a host family, or 2) in apartment housing with other students. I really enjoyed my living situation with a host family. The physical environment of the houses/apartments in Rome are probably more snug than what students are used to in the States, but it just takes some adjustment! In general, the student apartments and host family homes had a lot of charm,...

Reviews

95%
based on 39 reviews
  • Academics 7.9
  • Support 8.8
  • Fun 9
  • Housing 9.1
  • Safety 9.2
Showing 1 - 15 of 39
Default avatar
Amelia
10/10

IES Seriously Made me Feel Like a Local

I can't thank IES Rome enough. The administration was honestly so helpful with everything and everything. Knew everyone on my program (100+ students) by name the first day. They were so understanding with any question and were available 24/7. The professors were experts on their subjects and I learned more on this semester abroad than I do at my home institution - which is saying a lot! The apartment I was assigned to was in an amazing neighborhood right next to Vatican City and wasn't touristy at all. I lived with 5 other IES students in a building that was all Italian families, it truly felt like being a local. Overall, IES Rome made the transition to living and studying abroad so seamless, allowing me to have the most fun I've had in my life. I had the option to travel every weekend but I stayed in Rome more weekends that I traveled because there was so many news places and neighborhoods to visit in the city (and with my new Italian friends) that I felt guilty for leaving. IES made me feel so confident exploring the city on my own by being available 24/7.

How can this program be improved?
I have no complaints!
Yes, I recommend this program
Nicole
8/10

I already can't wait to go back!

IES made my study abroad experience in Rome amazing. I loved the location of the center and the opportunities they provided us with. I got to visit so many historic sites during classes and I even learned how to make pasta at a cooking class. The classes were interesting and really focused on the culture and history. I absolutely loved the field trip weekend to Tuscany. The housing was definitely a cultural difference, but the Italian Student Companions were a great option. They made adjusting to living in a city in Italy much easier.

Yes, I recommend this program
Osiris
9/10

Would do it again in a heartbeat

I loved my time in Rome with all of the experienced professors and great friends I made-- it's a program for everyone at all levels! I especially loved my living situation being with a Literature professor and her dog and being able to have my dietary restrictions (veganism) accommodated to at home, feeling welcome in the fullest. I was even taught how to cook!

I am also grateful for being able to go to the opera to see La Traviata, have dinners out with the group and go on several excursions with my class every week and as part of the program like to Amalfi Coast and Assisi.

I was given a chance to be independent and really explore on my own with the friends that i made, making it my experience especially being able to practice my Italian and learn at a rapid pace.

How can this program be improved?
Maybe being more selective of who is accepted, being smaller, having a more diverse staff and being more attentive to checkin in on housing and internships
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Alessandra
9/10

A Fulfilling Study Abroad Experience

I knew from the moment I went to college I wanted to study abroad in Rome, Italy for the academic year. IES Abroad Rome allowed me to fulfill that dream and experience the best that Rome had to offer. Every professor in this program is extremely passionate about what they teach and the weekly field studies for classes really allowed me to learn about art and culture within its context; a unique experience I will always treasure. In addition, IES is very accommodating to the needs of the students. For example, I wanted to participate in an internship in a gallery, but I also wanted take a painting class at RUFA (a local art university in Rome), and IES was very helpful in making that happen. While the academics were not very vigorous, this allowed for time and energy to immerse myself in the culture and really take advantage of what Rome had to offer.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Marissa
10/10

My IES rome Spring 2017 Experience

I participated in the IES Abroad Rome - Language & Area Studies program during the Spring of 2017. I lived in an apartment, took classes in economics, art history, political science and Italian and immensely enjoyed traveling through Europe and exploring the city of Rome! I took Intensive Italian, which really enhanced by language skills and enabled me to be conversational in Italian by the end of the term. The IES Program instructors are engaging and passionate. I also traveled extensively during my time abroad—I went to 22 European cities and 14 countries! IES allows for a Monday - Thursday class schedule, with Fridays off - this structure is fantastic since it provides an extra day for travel or exploration of Rome. I cannot emphasize enough how amazing of an experience this spring was for me. My classes and professors were incredible, living as a Roman was truly like living a fairytale, and being immersed in the Italian culture day in and day out was an experience I will remember for the rest of my life. I would do it again and again if I could!

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Jordan
10/10

Undeniably Inspiring

I spent my fall semester of the year 2016 with IES Abroad Rome, and it was incredible.
There were many obstacles that I encountered immediately upon arrival. I had never travelled outside of the United States of America before, so the sense of disorientation and cultural shock was jarring and frightening. Sometimes I felt so overwhelmed that I didn't want to leave my homestay or go to school. IES had a support system for me already set in place; I could talk to professors, administrative officers, and the ever-lovable ISCs (Italian-Speaking Student Companions). They were more than faculty; they were friends and peers willing to help, whether that meant fetching some tissues or just listening and sharing stories.
The IES Abroad Rome's Program also took us on a few field trips, both around Rome and out to other Italian cities like Siena and Pompeii. While there is strengths in numbers, sometimes I wished I had gone by myself to these places. (Later on, during Fall Break, I did just that, and I did a mini tour of Central/Northern Italy). That being said, IES worked really hard to organize trips with guides able to provide a unique perspective and remarkable insights. Did you know, for example, that there's a saying among the people in Siena that says the curly-haired woman is capricious? With each curl, our tour guide explained, she changes her mind. As someone with a headful of curls, I was at first offended. Then I changed my mind.
My favorite memories from my time in Rome were made when I was either on my own or with one or two close friends. IES gave me the perfect balance of space and guidance. Students could travel anywhere, as were encouraged to do so, on the weekends and over Fall Break as long as we left our travel details with the school's administrative office. No section of the city of Rome itself was off limits though we were advised to avoid certain areas at night. These safety protocols were essential for me particularly when several earthquakes hit central Italy around the time of my stay. A few of the stronger quakes could be felt in Rome, and since I'd never experienced that before I was terrified. IES has a quick emergency response protocol, and no sooner had I felt the earthquake and found out what had happened then IES texted and emailed me to verify my location and safety. The faculty also held a program meeting to discuss earthquakes and answer any questions the students had. This made me feel safer and more confident that I was in good hands.
Cultural immersion is not, I've decided, something that any school or program can enforce. IES gave me all of the tools - Italian language courses, social time with the ISCs, and my homestay option. I chose to take advantage of those, even though I could have only spoken to or hung out with other American students. I had only taken two Italian language classes at my home university, and that was a year before I decided to go abroad to Rome - I basically knew nothing. Upon returning, I have since tested into a junior/senior standing translation course. That improvement is something IES and I accomplished together.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Alexandra
10/10

My Home in Rome

I studied abroad in Rome with IES Language and Area Studies during the Fall of 2016, and it was by far the best experience of my life. I lived in an apartment, just a fifteen minute walk to school, with five other abroad students and one Italian Student Companion. I absolutely loved my classes and really valued the opportunity to take classes in art, history, politics, religion, and language. We would go on field trips to amazing places, such as the Vatican Museums and the Roman Forum. Rome truly became my living and outdoor classroom as I learned so much more than I ever thought I would. I had the opportunity to travel to Tuscany with IES, where we got to wine taste, site see, and learn how to make pasta from scratch. I loved every single moment of my time in Rome, from meeting the locals, experiencing the culture, trying new and delicious foods, and to developing such strong bonds with my fellow IES classmates. I remember one day in particular where my roommate and I decided to be spontaneous and spend the day doing everything touristy in Rome. We had chocolate espressos at the coffee shop just next door to our apartment, we went to the Trevi Fountain, shopped at local stores, sampled limoncello, and had the best gelato ever near the Pantheon. It was one of the best days I have ever had, and I am so beyond grateful to have had the opportunity to see Rome from this lens. My experience with IES in Rome was unforgettable, and I would highly recommend this program to anyone looking to have a phenomenal abroad experience.

How can this program be improved?
Better wifi and library upgrade needed. Also need a closer doctor to the IES center.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Kathleen
10/10

Roman Around

I was nervous, like many other students, before I went abroad. When selecting a college, a big thing to me was choosing a university where many students studied abroad. I was so enthusiastic about all of it until about a week before I left. I started to panic about what I would miss at school, if I had made a mistake going abroad, what if I had no friends abroad, what if I actually hadn't been learning Italian, what if I actually hated pasta? I won't say that all of my fears immediately vanished, but over the course of the semester, I had an absurdly overwhelming positive experience that I wouldn't trade for any frat party, any experience in America, any semester. I saw things I never knew existed, things that everyone knows exist; I met people who were kind, people who were mean, people who taught me things about myself, people who taught me things about the world, people I forgot in a second, people I will never forget. The only way to get this feeling and to get these experiences is to take the plunge yourself. Trust yourself, trust your desires, get away from the things you know and out of your comfort zone. You'll thank me and yourself later.

How can this program be improved?
Better absence policy; better apartment vetting; more rigorous use of local language.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Alina
10/10

Rome Became My Second Home

I knew for years, even before college, that I wanted to study abroad for a semester in college. As just a freshman in college, at The College of Wooster, I decided to apply to IES Abroad's Rome program for the Spring semester of my Sophomore year. I knew Rome would be an amazing opportunity for me since I am a Classical Studies and Archaeology double major--but my experience abroad exceeded even my expectations. Through IES, I was able to live with an incredible host family who made me instantly feel at home and provided me with an unparalleled cultural immersion experience. I also was able to participate in an archaeology internship with the American Academy in Rome, which proved to be incredibly valuable to my career goals and educational experience. Additionally, through IES's classes, I learned an unbelievable amount about the city I was living in--its people, its political and cultural past, its archaeology, and more. I also was able to learn Italian at a faster pace than I could ever have done in the U.S. (something my host family also played a major role in as well). Overall, I had the most memorable experiences, learned many valuable life skills and lessons, met so many incredible people, and I would do it all over again in heartbeat. I'm mid-semester at my home institution and still I think of Rome and Italy often, but I know I'll return to the city I called home for months--it's just a matter of when and not if!

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Gabriella
10/10

Another place to call home

The four months that I spent studying at IES in Rome were the most unforgettable of my life. Every day I woke up in my apartment down the street from Vatican, walked across Ponte Vittorio Emanuele II, and stopped along the lungotevere at my favorite coffee spot next to school for a caffè before going to class. IES students live in two of the most beautiful quarters of Rome, Prati and Trastevere, both within walking distance of the center. The professors who teach there are all Italians who also teach at local universities; they are experts in their fields and help us make the most out of the classes with our almost weekly lessons outside the classroom. The field studies were by far my favorite part of IES. With them I got to see some of the most unique and beautiful places in Rome. Depending on your class schedules you go to government buildings, museums, charity centers, and more. Between exploring the city on my own and with the help of suggestions of places to go from IES’s weekly emails, I quickly felt that Rome was another place I can call home.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Alex
10/10

Unforgettable Adventures in the Eternal City

Going into my semester abroad, I didn’t know what to expect. By the time I returned to the U.S., I had learned how to make pasta by hand in Tuscany, held ancient Roman artifacts in my hands, and visited 6 other countries outside of Italy, not including the Vatican, which I walked by every day on my way to class. My first week in Rome was spent getting all of the famous monuments out of the way, as by my third month Piazza Navona became just another study spot and I attended a gala in the ruins under it. Through IES, got the chance to make the extraordinary ordinary, and experience one unique adventure after another.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Shannon
10/10

Life is Beautiful here, thanks to IES!

This program had it all: the freedom to travel around Europe, the ability to live with an Italian family, an inclusive and planned trip to Tuscany or Amalfi, amazing academics, but most importantly, the ability to make a difference while having a blast in la Bella Roma. I feel we became parts of the community rather than long-term tourists - we left our mark here! IES's internship program really shaped my time in Rome and helped me make an impact. I was able to get a first-hand look at the refugee crisis in Rome, through my public policy class (that had many great speakers and field trips) and my social action internship. I taught refugees English through IES, and it added such a meaningful dimension to my semester. My different IES professors were phenomenal teachers, who brought the city to us in the classroom and us out into the city on various field studies. I saw St. Peter's tomb and the underground necropolis there, I did a bike tour of Villa Borghese with my Italian class, and I visited an ethnic market in Rome's multicultural neighborhood. I never felt like I was stuck in the classroom. I also choose to live in a homestay rather than an apartment, and it was a great decision for me. I learned a lot about the Italian culture while living in the very-hopping area of Trastevere, along with other homestay students. All in all, it was a fantastic program in a breath-taking city.

Yes, I recommend this program
Marie
10/10

Rome Spring 2016

My semester in Rome was incredible. Getting the opportunity to live and intern in Rome, a city I had always dreamed of visiting, was absolutely amazing. There was always something to do and another hidden treasure to find. The classes I took were interesting and actually helped to enhance my experience. There were a lot of field studies built into each class which really helped to make the class more fun and interesting. Being in Italy also made it really easy to travel to other countries. I was able to visit five other European countries while still traveling around Italy. I wish I could go back to eating incredible food and drinking fantastic wine every day. Don't ever worry about where to eat in Rome - everywhere you go has great food!

How can this program be improved?
I would really have appreciated more cultural immersion. There wasn't much effort on the provider's end to help us understand and integrate into Italian culture. The Italian people and their culture is so great I just really wish my program had shown us that more.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Lauren
8/10

An amazing semester in Rome

My study abroad experience was awesome. I absolutely loved my time abroad and would do it all over again in a heartbeat. I recommend IES Abroad for the student who wants to take advantage of every opportunity while abroad, because IES did an amazing job with extracurricular activities. Some of the many offerings (all at low cost!) include a 2 day pilgrimage to Assisi and the Basilica di San Francesco, cooking and baking classes, a soccer league, museum tours led by our own professors, grocery store tours, shopping excursions, pottery classes, and dinners out. These were all opportunities I would not have participated in, without such an amazing staff and program . I absolutely loved my homestay and some of my best friends that I made in the program were also in homestays, and they were located within a 5 minute walk of my home. It was awesome! i would definitely make sure to look into what classes are offered and how easy it is to get into the exact classes you want, before you choose a program. Sometimes it can be difficult to switch in due to certain classes being more popular than others. Also make sure your school will give you credit for the classes you actually end up taking!
IES Abroad made my study abroad experience truly incredible. It flew by and I can't begin to describe how much I grew and learned while abroad.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Samantha
10/10

American Program...Italian Experience

IES Abroad truly creates an Italian experience for American students. My homestay experience fully immersed me in Italian culture at home. At school, IES Abroad's wonderful professors embraced their culture and shared it with their students. The professors at IES Abroad are laid-back, kind, and caring. They want their students to succeed academically but also culturally. They encourage us to explore Rome and enjoy our free time almost as much as they encourage diligent study. I discovered new places and learned new quirks about Italian culture thanks to my professors and the IES Abroad staff.

Yes, I recommend this program

Interviews

Meet the Alumni

Meet the Staff

About IES Abroad

IES Abroad offers 140 programs worldwide for college students. We are a highly charged force of study abroad enthusiasts. Every day we have the privilege of witnessing how study abroad changes our students’ lives. We also believe that every student...