IES Abroad Rome – Language & Area Studies

Video and Photos

A view of Tuscany, one of the trips you can go on from IES!
A ceiling view of one of the many breath-taking churches in Rome.
A gelato selection from Frigidarium. One of my favorite shops in Rome and two minutes from the IES school center!

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.

Scholarships

IES Abroad Scholarships
IES Abroad Scholarships and Financial Aid

As far as we're concerned, financial limitations shouldn't prevent you from studying abroad with us. That's why we offer more than $5 million in scholarships and aid.

Value
$500 - $5,000

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 45 reviews
  • Academics 7.9
  • Support 8.9
  • Fun 9
  • Housing 9.2
  • Safety 9.2
Showing 16 - 30 of 45
Default avatar
Gabriella
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

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

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.

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

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.

Marie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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!

What would you improve about this program?
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.
Default avatar
Lauren
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

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

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.

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

Just a typical day in Rome?

So when I arrived in Rome it was about 5 pm and all I wanted to do was unpack and sleep... I didn't even think about what was in store as soon as I left my apartment the next morning or every day for the following 6 months! Well let me tell you about the typical day of an IES student in Rome! First, all of IES housing is in the beautiful Prati Area (basically the Upper East side of Rome)! Prati is great because you're always just about a 15 minute walk from the Vatican and St. Peter's or Castel Sant'Angelo which is right across the bridge from the IES Center! And the area behind the center is rich with history! There is the Pantheon and Piazza Navona. I am so psyched that I got to experience Rome with IES because everyday was spent among the history of Rome!... Yeah kind of geeky but, we spent most of our days studying on site... we studied the Colosseum from the site... we studied Early Christianity below Saint Peter's Basilica (literally got to see St. Peter's bones)!
During our down time, we got to take a gastronomical tour and wine tasting with IES, we had a terrace to tan or study on when we weren't in class and traveling was made easy with long weekends! You could have class in the morning at a church in Trastevere and then spend your afternoon on an Estate in Umbria (a different region)!
Looking back on my experience I wouldn't change one thing because, what was a typical day studying in Rome is a world away from a 'typical day' on any college or university campus here!

I'm so glad to have been a part of the IES Language and Areas Studies program and would recommend it to anyone who consider's studying abroad!

What would you improve about this program?
I think that the program could be better by offering the students more outings! During the summer session Italian professors gave walks around some of the coolest areas in Rome but during the spring semester we missed out on those!
Default avatar
Morgan
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great experience with IES in Rome

I loved my study abroad program and really appreciated all of the programming that IES put together. All of the classes incorporated visits to various cultural and historical sites, often requiring us to navigate the city on our own to get there. IES made sure that we were completely immersed in the culture of Italy, between the language requirements and the field trips to other parts of the country. I would definitely choose IES again!

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

beautiful Roma

The weather was much warmer than I expected so make sure you do your research and pack appropriately!!! I had a beautiful apartment in a great little neighborhood. Not being from the city I had to get used to the long walk (no car like I'm used to) to class and back but I grew to love it. There was great support and any questions or concerns I had were quickly answered. It will take you a little bit of time to get off the touristy areas--befriend the locals and take note to where they're going. My first day I got roped into a 30 euro bruschetta and bottled water, so definitely beware of tourist traps. Loved my classes and we had regular excursions to accompany what we were learning about. Rome was a good hub to the budget airlines, trains, and buses if you're interested in travelling outside of Rome or Italy. I fell in love with this city and can't wait to go back!

What would you improve about this program?
Sometimes it seemed a bit disorganized but I made the best of everything and just went with the flow.
Default avatar
Kirsten
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Perfect Day in Assisi

One day trip I went with my program was to Assisi, which is known for St. Francis of Assisi as well as St. Clare. We had an all-day private tour with a former IES Rome professor about the story of the town and the two saints. The tour was not preachy, but informative and beautifully told. We got to walk through history and time. It was in the off-season and the town was very tranquil. The best part was walking through a skinny and very long corridor to a tower in the fortress that topped the town. When I saw the view of Umbria below I actually gasped! It was a perfect day full of peace in churches that history built, wonder with the Italian countryside, and very delicious pizza.

What would you improve about this program?
My program provided a weekend trip that was included in the cost. I wish that trip was twice as long because though the locations were excellent, I felt rushed. In addition with trips, I felt the initial sign-up for the day-trips was chaotic.
Default avatar
Rebecca
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

La Vita è Bella a Roma

My semester in Rome was incredible, and IES Abroad played a huge role in making my journey so memorable!

I would recommend IES Rome: Language and Area Studies to anyone who is looking to participate in an internship or service opportunity abroad. It seems daunting, but IES makes it so easy to find an internship that fits you. Before even going abroad, I was contacted by an IES staff member who noted that I was interested in an internship. She wanted to learn more about my interests so she could find me a good placement. She also reviewed my resume with me. She put me in touch with a potential employer (who ended up being my future employer), who also contacted me before leaving the States. I worked in the archaeology study collection of the American Academy in Rome. I had a blast and I learned so much. I know my international work experience will be very important in my future career. Throughout the semester, IES staff contacted me to make sure I was enjoying my internship.

I also have to comment on the academics. Frankly, when going abroad, I did not have high expectations for my professors. Knowing that they only know students for one or two semesters, I expected a lack of passion. I was very, VERY wrong. IES Rome has incredible professors who are both extremely enthusiastic about their disciplines and are genuinely interested in the success of their students. I had some of my most favorite teachers and courses at IES out of my whole undergraduate career!

Of course, Rome itself is such a beautiful city. The way in which the past mingles with the present is simply not found anywhere else. I was stunned to discover that the IES center is so close to the Vatican and right across the bridge from the amazing Castel Sant’Angelo.

The study abroad experience, though only four months long, has changed me for a lifetime. I am more confident, independent and tolerant. I am more likely to see difference as beautiful. Study abroad has made me a brave and curious student.

What would you improve about this program?
I would ask for a better Library facility.
Default avatar
Kelsey
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The Greatest Semester of my Life

My study aboard experience in Rome with IES was better than I ever could have imagined! During my time abroad I lived in a homestay and was also able to work for a local tour company as an intern. Both of these aspects of my time abroad were highlights for me because they allowed me to truly feel immersed in my city and it’s culture. And neither of these aspects of my trip would have been possible without IES and their great staff on site in Rome. Additionally, the classes that I took at my center were incredible. The professors were all kind, engaging, and helped me to make the most of my experience. It was truly an amazing and life changing experience. I would recommend IES Rome to anyone who is looking to study abroad!

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

Abroad Sweet Abroad

I dove into my study abroad experience with little to no expectations. I wasn’t much of a traveler before studying with IES Abroad in Rome – I had been to Canada and Italy with my family before but can’t remember much about my experiences. I was too young to appreciate my surroundings, and, to be totally candid, family vacations aren’t exactly the kind of travel adventures a tween romanticizes later in life.

And so, with my limited knowledge of travel and growing knowledge of Italian culture and language in college, I decided to go to Rome and embark on my own whimsical adventure abroad.

I could tell you a million cliché phrases that encapsulate my experience abroad, so I’m just going to say this: I learned, I grew, I saw, and I lived – oh, how I lived! Every day was an adventure. I lived near the Vatican, so walking to school every day meant fighting through crowds of tourists while simultaneously drinking in the beauty of Rome on my daily passing of Saint Peter’s and the Castel Sant’Angelo. The men selling selfie-sticks on the bridge in front of the Castel began to recognize me and, eventually, the bridge became a second home where I would read between classes and meet friends for a night out. In fact, the entire city of Rome became home towards the end of my program. I was able to off-handedly identify hills, landmarks, and monuments, as well as streets and random history about the socio-political framework of the city. My daily wanderings around Rome, combined with weekend adventures, in-class lectures by brilliant professors, and my internship with an Italian film company, deepened my appreciation and knowledge of Rome – and Italy as a whole – with regards to art, culture, geography, sociology, politics, and language.

My comfort with living in Rome helped me explore places outside of the city, starting with peripheral neighborhoods like Garbatella and San Lorenzo, and eventually branching out to other regions of Italy. For spring break, I took a leap of maturity and went to Turkey and Greece with my friends, which is something tween Adrienne never saw coming. Come March, I was booking my own travels, making my own itineraries, and researching new places to explore. After my program ended, I visited different parts of England and Sicily before finally returning back to the states.

Being abroad raised my confidence to levels I never knew I could reach. Exploring, making new (amazing/lifelong) friends, immersing myself in a different culture and language, and working hard in my IES courses showed me that I am both my greatest tool and obstacle. If I choose to live in ignorance, so be it. However, if I choose to educate myself, break out of my comfort zone, and stay curious, I am unstoppable.

After studying abroad, the world has become smaller and less intimidating -- though infinitely more interesting.

What would you improve about this program?
The housing situation. I lived pretty far from my school (about a 25-minute walk) and my apartment was not quality. I also lived with 6 other (awesome) women in a very small space, which drove us all crazy at times. The quality of IES apartments varied dramatically among students -- while my apartment was rather crummy, some people lived in very nice housing, which I found unfair.
Default avatar
Madeline
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Short Stay In An Eternal City

My IES abroad experience was one I would not trade for anything in the world. Aside from my beautiful apartment (seriously, I was shocked at just how gorgeous is was), my adorable neighborhood, my ideal location in the heart of Rome, and my awesome roommates, the IES staff both in Rome and in Chicago (where their headquarters are located) were extremely helpful and welcoming throughout both the application process and the duration of my stay in Rome. The IES center was beautiful and conveniently located just a few short minutes from the Vatican, and right along the Tiber river. My apartment was just a 20 minute walk from school (something I dreaded at first, then began to enjoy once I got there). Though the center was located it a highly touristy area, being from New York, I enjoyed the excitement and slight chaos the city offered, and although the area near school was busy, my neighborhood was cozy and quiet and very much residential; I got the best of both worlds. My classes were very different from any I would take a Fordham, and I enjoyed each one immensely and learned a great deal from each, things I would have never learned previously. Each week (usually multiple times a week) my classes would have field studies, where we would go to historical or relevant locations and learn first hands the topics we studied. I went everywhere from the Coliseum to Saint Peter's Basilica, to the Roman Ruins, even to Florence to visit the Uffizi Gallery and the Academia museum. My professors were not only passionate about their work, but engaging and helpful as well. They became more like mentors and friends than teachers and the entire IES staff made us feel like one big family despite the 90 students in the program. Additionally, there were various activities both within and outside the program we were constantly notified about, I even got to go to Easter mass at Saint Peter's and hear Pope Francis speak. I was also given the option (which I chose) to live with an Italian student companion, along with the 4 other American girls in my program. This was great because it gave us more insight into the Italian culture and someone to show us around and expose us to more places, people, and things. Overall, my experience with IES and in Rome in general was unlike any other I have ever experienced, I am extremely happy with the decision I made and I am proud to say I now consider Rome a second home to me and am excited for my next opportunity to return.

What would you improve about this program?
More equal housing conditions for all students.
Read my full story
Default avatar
Stephanie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Roman Around!

I would recommend the IES – Roma Language and Area Studies to anyone that was looking to study abroad in Rome. First, I felt as though the IES staff did an excellent job of preparing me for going abroad. The website had specific instructions for everything that I needed to complete, and there was always someone there to help if I was confused or had questions, This made me feel more prepared and confident before I left the United States. Once I was there, the staff was equally as helpful. They sent emails every week letting us know of any safety issue that may occur and offering different activities throughout the week. In addition, the apartment that I lived in was great- very clean and plenty of space for 8 girls. The location that the IES Abroad center was located was extremely central. Finally, the classes that I took there were great as well. I loved being able to see and experience different things that I was learning about in class on field studies. The professors were very eager to teach their students and were very knowledgeable about the subjects they were teaching and about Rome in general. I really had a great time in Rome and it wouldn’t have been possible without IES!

What would you improve about this program?
I would make classes end earlier so that you have even more time to hangout around Italy after class!