Villanova University Study Abroad

Program Reviews

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

Great way to see all of Italy and to get a taste of Italian culture! Make sure to take advantage of traveling around Italy. The trip is only 6.5 weeks so do not have too many places on your list to see. I recommend going to a select few cities and really spending your time there to familiarize yourself with the culture and people. This trip was incredible and I met many friends whom I'm sure that I will keep throughout my entire lifetime. Have fun on your trip!

Default avatar
DIS_PHB
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I was in the Public Health program at DIS in Spring 2012. Overall, I thought that DIS is a great program for someone who is looking for a ton of guidance and hand-holding. It was easy to get acclimated with the city and the "campus" (which is really just three buildings in the city). They are well-organized and really know what they are doing. They try to provide students with many opportunities to meet other students and Danes as well as options to participate in cultural events, such as visiting historical castles.

In terms of academics, I really learned a lot from my public health classes -- this is probably true because my home university does not offer them. I know that other students in the program who actually are public health majors said that the information was repetitive, but it was interesting to view it from a welfare state system. My favorite parts of the program were the study tours. I really got a chance to bond with my class (about 18 students) while visiting other countries (e.g. Latvia, Finland, Western Denmark).

Housing - I stayed in an International Kollegium with the intention of meeting other international students, but it turns out that this Kollegium was mostly graduate students who were pretty uninterested in meeting undergraduate students. I was also randomly paired with a roommate - which is always just a hit of miss. The room itself is studio setup, with our own kitchenette and bathroom. They gave us a food stipend card, which surprisingly lasted throughout the semester (so long as you don't use the card to buy alcohol).

Transportation in DK is really nice and easy. Everyone also speaks English -- and everyone will say that Danes are cold and keep to themselves, but that is a vast generalization and mostly not true -- unless you are in an obnoxious group. There is an open bottle policy so you will see many people drinking throughout the day, but they don't get outrageously drunk.

Some Cons: The academic work load is actually pretty hefty compared to some other study aboard programs. The weather in Denmark is only nice in the Summer (which begins in June). The cost of living is extremely expensive.

Default avatar
sthomas12
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Choosing DIS was probably one of the best decisions I've ever made. The program has been around for over 50 years and during that time they have definitely figured out how to iron out all of the small details to make all 900 students' experiences good ones. While I was listening to my friends in other countries panic about finding an apartment and dealing with setting up wifi in new places and struggling to get around, I was comfortably sitting in my new kollegium where everything, from transportation passes to lists of places with student discounts was provided for me.
Because there are so many Americans in the program, it is usually easy to make friends, especially if you participate in their excursions to places like Hamlet's Castle early in the program (sign up for them early! they fill up fast!) and in classes. It is also possible to take classes at Copenhagen University, where you can also make Danish and other international friends. People especially make close friends in their core classes, because of the 2 trips that are taken with the class.
Overall, DIS provides an excellent balance of making sure everything is very planned and organized without making you feel over-programmed or like you are not deciding on your own what you want to do. They provide many options for planned things (trips during the 2 week break, long weekend excursions, wine tastings, trips to IKEA) but if you are a person who'd rather be more independent then it's easy to find your own things to do as well without going through DIS.
Copenhagen as a city was also extremely welcoming. I always felt safe, even when I was taking the 3am night bus back to my kollegium from the bars downtown. It is an easy city to get around, especially because DIS gives everyone a transportation pass. There are lots of neighborhoods to explore and the city has a lot of interesting history. You can also rent/buy a bike to join the millions of Danes who bike around their city daily. (I highly recommend this! So much fun!) People have a reputation for seeming cold and distanced on the street (Danes generally don't make eye contact or small talk on the street/bus etc) but if you directly approach someone when you need help or directions most people are sweet and helpful. Learning and noting cultural differences was so interesting, and there are many aspects of Danish culture, like prioritizing family relationships, biking, and hygge, that I have brought back into my life in the US.
Some drawbacks that people mentioned when I was there: sometimes people are placed in housing that is a long-ish commute from classes which can be a pain when trying to hang out with friends later. The language is also kind of difficult to learn, but basically all Danes speak English, which is a pro and a con, because I found it hard to try to practice my Danish in restaurants etc because people would rather just speak English than listening to you try Danish, and Copenhagen is one of the most expensive cities in the world. Going into it, I was extremely worried about money and getting used to seeing prices in dkk was very difficult. $1-about 5dkk, so every single price you see is enormous. But, I just got really used to cooking my own food and figuring out who has lunch specials and DIS student discounts. It is definitely possible to manage in Copenhagen without draining your bank account, but it is a challenge.
Overall, I absolutely loved my time in Copenhagen and I would do it again in a heartbeat if I had the chance.

Default avatar
SNicol
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I absolutely loved Chile. I wish I could have stayed longer!! The people, the food, the social scene, the culture, the scenery-everything was so interesting and made for an absolutely wonderful experience.

I participated in the internship program that Villanova offers its students. Since I am a nursing major, I was placed in a Physical Therapy office for my internship. This was probably the place where I learned the most Spanish, and had the opportunity to observe and understand the differences between our two healthcare systems. The people working there as well as the patients were so friendly and willing to teach me everything I wanted to know about their language/culture and the healthcare system. My only complaint about this was that even for all of the work all of us did in our internship placements, students were credited with Latin American Studies credits, and not Spanish credits. As someone who already has a limited amount of free credits to take Spanish classes, this was a shortcoming that I wish could be solved in future programs, because now I won't be able to complete a Spanish minor. But all things considering, I would do the whole thing over again, and would go back in a heartbeat. Viva Chile!

Default avatar
siena2011
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The best time ever. Enough said. Being in a small, Italian town as opposed to the touristy cities really allows you to immerse more into the Italian culture. In addition, I think the smallness of Siena really encourages everybody to act as a group and really promotes people to become amazing friends through the program. The food was amazing, the scenery was beautiful, I always felt safe. Needless to say, I'm sitting here in America wishing to be back in Siena.

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

Siena is truly a fantastic place to study abroad. Nestled in the Tuscan country side, the city offers an authentic experience of Italy providing many sites, restaurants, and shops without feeling at all touristy. Siena is small enough to offer a relaxing atmosphere upon return from traveling on weekends (which are all left open to the students) yet large enough that there is plenty to do within the city itself to easily occupy time during the week. These experiences are complemented and enriched by the program's several planned trips that immerse the student in all aspects of the Italian culture. Additionally, the program’s staff members are knowledgeable, friendly, helpful, and realize the once-in-a-lifetime nature of this trip. I would highly recommend studying abroad in Siena.

Default avatar
Villanova
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I learned a great deal from my experience in Siena, both about myself and the surrounding culture. The program gives each student ample opportunity to explore the town of Siena, and also of Italy and even nearby countries. I would definitely recommend this study abroad experience.

Default avatar
villanovastudent
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I thought that this program was a quality one. The teachers and community were extremely helpful to us. My host family was amazing and they genuinely wanted me to have a fun time.

Default avatar
Aondik
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Chile was my first study abroad experience, but not my last! Those six weeks were wonderful, but they made me realize I wanted to go abroad for an entire semester. Imagine how much more I could learn, see, do, and experience in an entire semester. I just returned from a semester in Seville, Spain - the best semester of my life. I was motivated to study there because of my experience in Chile!

Default avatar
ciao12
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

This program allows you to not only see Cadiz, but also to travel to Madrid, Toledo, Cordoba, Granada, and Seville. There were also free weekends for travel in which I had the privilege of using to go to Morocco and Barcelona. The experience was amazing overall. The beach was absolutely beautiful and I felt like I was at a resort all summer. All I can really say against this program is that if you are looking to really improve your Spanish you will have to do so on your own. You travel with a group of Americans, so your social life is with those Americans who speak English to each other. The homestay was beneficial for learning Spanish, but I also stayed with another American in the house, so we spoke English to each other while not with our host mother.