IES Abroad Rome – Language & Area Studies

Video and Photos

A gelato selection from Frigidarium. One of my favorite shops in Rome and two minutes from the IES school center!
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.

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 31 - 45 of 45
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Will
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Awesome

When I first decided to go abroad I was a little hesitant and here is why. I played basketball all of my life since I was a kid and was, at the time, playing for Sewanee: The University of The South, a small division three liberal arts college in Tennessee. Thus, my identity as I knew myself, was in basketball. Granted, I had joined a fraternity, and gotten involved with various groups on campus, but I was still rooted in basketball. Deciding to go abroad would cut my career short. I decided, however, struggling through a lot of prayer and thought, to go. I can honestly say that this was the best decision that I have ever made in my life. I was stretched in ways that I never knew I was capable of. I knew that if I was going to go abroad I had to go by myself because if not I would just be in the same old bubble I had been in. I wanted to stretch myself and see things about myself that I had never seen before. Hence, I decided to go to The Eternal City of Rome (mainly because I am a history major and a religion minor, I will readily admit). When I got to Rome I was awestruck from day one. I was completely interested and immediately inquisitive about this place and what it had to offer to me—because as one can easily see, Rome has dealt with a plethora of people all containing differing identities. I promptly decided I would let this place change me—the way I thought, the way I wandered around this life, and the ways that I was used to. Looking back I can honestly say that this place has given me things that I never thought possible of attaining. I learned to love people that were different than myself and had differing opinions on almost every topic. I learned that people everywhere are all innately attracted to happiness, and all equally impervious to suffering. I learned that basketball is not the only sport that people love. I learned to not only appreciate the differences in others, but also I became fond of my thoughts, beliefs, and values. I learned that reading a book is not the only way to learn—although I will admit it is very valuable. I learned that if you have a fear of something the best way to overcome it is to face it head-on. I was completely petrified of fights, so I sky dove through the Swiss Alps one weekend. These are just a few of the examples of what IES and study abroad has done for me. My perspective on life is completely changed and it’s something that I am very thankful for. So, in closing, I want to thank IES and all the people involved because I can truly say that my life would not be the same had it not been for study abroad. C.S. Lewis said it best: “its funny how day by day nothing changes but when you look back everything is different.” My time abroad is something that is not a four-month experience I hold in my mind, but it is a life long memory I will savor until the day that I die.

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

Solid Program

Rome is an absolutely beautiful and amazing city! The center is right across from Castel Sant'Angelo and less than 10 minutes from St. Peter's. I lived in a spacious apartment about 25 minutes from the center with an Italian Student Companion and 5 other girls. I cannot recommend the ISC enough. It is so nice to live with a native Italian who understands the language and customs. They also show you the best places to get a beer and slice of pizza.
Compared to my home institution the classes were not difficult. The subject material is fascinating and many classes do weekly field trips throughout the city.
The staff is absolutely amazing. They truly care about your study abroad experience and are some of the nicest people I have ever met.
I loved my time abroad and cannot wait to go back.

What would you improve about this program?
My other roommates were less than desirable. This is a bit tricky to improve, but I think prospective participants should be aware that not everyone makes life long friends while abroad and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
Read my full story
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Jessie
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

IES Rome: Hands-on Learning

My favorite thing about doing IES Rome was going on field studies during class time. These involved trips to museums, archaeological sites, monuments, and even villas. Seeing Rome first-hand was incredible and this made the experience unique compared to other programs around the world. The professors were incredibly passionate about their classes, and went above and beyond to make our time in Rome the best it could be. For example, in my Forma Urbis (Roman Archaeology) class, Prof Gianni Ponti spent the semester getting special permission from the Roman Department of Antiquities so our class could visit the excavation of the Imperial Fora. This was an incredible supplement to the already engaging class, and it was these little parts of the program that made it such an amazing learning opportunity.

What would you improve about this program?
The staff at the IES center could have been more organized when it came to issues in our classrooms/apartments/etc. Although they assured us things would be changed quickly, there often wasn't an incredible amount of follow-up on issues voiced. That being said, they are all very polite and make you feel safe in the IES center.
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Annie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Loved Rome

This program and the location were perfect. The city is huge--it took about a month to even feel like I could step off the beaten track. Countless neighborhoods and ancient sites made each day an adventure. The Italian student companion program at IES was invaluable. My Italian roommate showed me around, helped me communicate at an Italian hair salon in the midst of a home hair dye disaster, and was a great friend (still is even after the program ended). The people on the program were open and friendly and up for any adventures I dragged them on. The weekend trip through the program was amazing and one that I would not have had without the school. We spent a weekend driving through the Tuscan countryside, learned to make pasta, and drank tons of wine at a local vineyard. The friends I made in Italy, the experiences I had each day exploring the Ghetto, Trastevere, Castel Sant'Angelo, Piazza Navona, Testaccio, etc., and the confidence I gained getting to know the city are all things I'll never forget. Going abroad was invaluable, but it was the little day-to-day triumphs and mishaps (correctly giving directions in Italian or taking the wrong bus) that made the experience unforgettable.

What would you improve about this program?
At times, you had to go out of your way to engage with local culture and get out of your comfort zone. The program might have offered more options to explore new neighborhoods or visit off-the-beaten-path sites so that students could make the most of their time.
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Maria
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Bella Roma!

I had an AMAZING experience with IES Abroad Rome. It seriously was life changing and I became such a stronger and more independent person because of it. I lived in an apartment with an ISC (Italian Student Companion) and six other American girls. These girls are still some of my best friends today and we continually plan to meet up to see each other. The center itself was beautiful and the instructors were very knowledgeable. The classes were so interesting and I loved going on field studies every week to see the city and learn about the history and art of Rome. My favorite part about IES Abroad is that you are truly able to immerse yourself into the culture as much or as little as you want. If you want to increase your Italian language skills, you can take higher levels of Italian and can even take courses at local Italian universities. If you want to participate in cooking activities or olive oil tastings, you can sign up for that. It truly was a great experience and I'm looking forward to the day I return to Rome and reunite with my IES Abroad classmates!

What would you improve about this program?
Well, I think this program is pretty perfect, but if I had to add anything I would add more frequent cultural activities (cooking classes, etc.) because the lists for them always fill up very fast!
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Dominique
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

In Bocca al Lupo

Italians say "in bocca al lupo" when wishing someone good luck. The most literal translation is "in the mouth of a wolf." My study abroad experience can be captured in this small phrase. The four months I spent in Rome were about getting outside of my comfort zone, experiencing new things, and embracing a new culture and lifestyle. As part of my daily life in Rome, I was fortunate to have participated in a social action program. I was placed as an English TA at a local high school, where I was able to meet dozens of kind and passionate students, some of whom have become my lifelong friends. This challenging experience allowed me to form wonderful relationships of reciprocity, which made it that much harder to leave Rome at the end of my study abroad program. Rome is truly the most beautiful city, rich with history, and full of adventure. If you find yourself there, embrace every moment, because I guarantee that your experience will leave you with a renewed perspective and passion for life. In bocca al lupo!

What would you improve about this program?
I wish my program would have gotten tickets to local events for students!
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Peter
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing time!

Amazing program in an amazing city! Highly recommend going to Rome with IES as the staff knows everything and the living situation is so much fun! So much to do in Rome as well as weekend trips to other cities.

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Luke
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The Happiest Months of my Life

IES Roma is truly a fantastic program that enabled me to enjoy an amazing experience in the Eternal City. The location (about a 5 minute walk from the Vatican!) is perfectly nestled right along the Tiber River in the historic center of the city. The classes were engaging and relevant, but not over-burdensome in terms of workload; in other words don't expect blow-off classes, but I never felt overwhelmed or unable to take weekend trips due to classwork. Additionally field trips are never lacking as professors will take you to museums, landmarks, and other spots of intrigue on a weekly basis. The city is confusing to navigate, a little dirty, and public transportation is a mess but is generally unnecessary as almost everything worth seeing is relatively close. The program also does a great job of keeping you informed regardless of the occasion. Their are tons of extracurriculars as well, which were great ways to bond with my fellow students outside of the classroom. I played in a soccer league, participated in cooking classes, and dined with my classmates in some of Rome's renowned restaurants at a subsidized cost. The administration is very nice and helpful and they maintain a good balance between keeping you safe and not holding your hand as you experience your semester in a foreign location. I look back on my all-too-brief time in Rome with a fondness beyond words. While the city of Rome in itself is an incredible place overflowing with beauty and history that couldn't help but amaze everyone that has the fortune to visit, I strongly believe that IES is a special program that helped me relish and experience Rome to its fullest.

What would you improve about this program?
I guess I would tweak the classes a little bit. Due to the relatively small size of the program there are limited time slots for classes, making it difficult to take all the classes you want. Also the attendance policies are pretty strict.
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Cassandra
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An Incredible Experience

I absolutely loved my study abroad experience and highly recommend the program IES Roma. I had an apartment in Rome with 4 other girls and it was perfect sized! Although the hot water didn't always work and there wasn't air conditioning I really felt like I was living like a true Roman. You get used to it pretty quickly and realize that it doesn't really matter because her, I'm in Rome! I recommend signing up to live with an Italian Student Companion (ISC) because they introduce you to their friends and can take you to local bars and places to eat that they normally go to with their friends. The ISCs are also our age and are students at the local universities of Rome so they become just another one of the friends that you become so close with while abroad! You learn a lot of great recipes from them as well and most times you get to meet their families! They also really help you figure out the metro and the bus system which is super helpful especially when you first arrive. All of the classes that I took abroad were so interesting and I learned so much about Rome and it's history. I recommend taking any class that has field studies because that way you get to experience museums and other sites that you wouldn't normally get to on your own! The field trips through IES are great and I highly recommend the one to Tuscany. All of the staff was really helpful and I always felt comfortable asking them questions. They definitely made us feel safe in Rome.

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hbuffo
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

IES Rome

IES Rome is probably one of the best study abroad programs in Rome. The field studies in my classes have made this experience incredibly worthwhile so I feel I am learning a lot from living in this city. The location of the IES center in Rome is excellent and I love living in the Trastevere neighborhood. The Italian Student Companion program is also really outstanding. I love my Italian roommate and getting to hang out with Italian students my age.

What would you improve about this program?
The Italian 101 course is not comprehensive enough. We spend a lot of time talking about Italian culture which is good but I don't feel like I have learned a sufficient amount of important vocabulary and grammar to really begin to converse with Italians. It's very frustrating that I still feel heavily reliant on English 9 weeks into the program.
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MV
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

IES ROME was amazing!

IES Rome is an amazing study abroad program! I highly recommend it!

IES has great teachers and staff. It is located in the heart of Rome-right across the river from the Vatican. It's beautiful and functional. The classes are interesting and many of them take you on cool field trips around Rome. They provide discounted activities too- like cooking classes or apperitivo. IES housing is great! You live in an apartment, with other people from your program. You get to know a neighborhood of the city and explore the other ones your friends live in.

There is lots of opportunity to travel, not only with in Italy, but also in Europe.

Also, Rome is an amazing city. There is so much to see and do with the art, history, fashion, etc. I miss it and want to go back!

The best part of this whole experience would have to be the people. I met some amazing people and have made friendships that will last a lifetime!

What would you improve about this program?
If I had to change one thing, I think I would have asked for a better packing list. Rome's weather changes constantly, so be prepared!
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Ragazza
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

When in Rome

A student who truly wishes to go to Italy fully intending to learn the language and be immersed in the culture would most benefit from such a study abroad program. If that is the case, I would encourage choosing to live with a host family. While students are warned that some homestays are further from the academic center, my homestay was less than a fifteen minute walk away and could not have been in a better area. Though not too busy at night, it was a great area for living, especially given its proximity to the center of the city and school. In terms of safety, I never had any big problems, but as in any large city, it is definitely necessary to be street-smart and try not to travel alone at night.

The program itself provides a good channel through which to experience Italy and the Italian lifestyle on your own, as you are given a good amount of independence. Organized field trips allow for those less inclined to travel to experience other parts of Italy, and the academic schedule was generally such that one was able to balance work and personal life. The school organized a field trip to Naples,Pompeii, and the Amalfi Coast over the course of a weekend, and it was one from which the students obtained both a great deal of information and enjoyment. For those seeking an additional challenge, as many students take just four classes, the possibility to obtain an internship is a great option.

If I could repeat those four months and more, I absolutely would, as my time abroad proved to be one of the best- if not the best- time of my life, especially personally and culturally (and, as is obviously the case in Italy, food was never scarce, and there was always something to everyone's liking!) Studying in Italy has certainly instilled in me a desire to return and live abroad again for a longer period of time, which I am already planning to do, for graduate school. It was such a treat to be able to wake up each day in a different country and truly feel at home with the people, lifestyle, and surroundings. If I have one regret, it is not having spent a second semester abroad.

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Anne
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Summer Abroad in Roma

Studying abroad in Rome was an experience I will never forget. The people I met in Rome will always have a place in my heart. Living in Italy has made me realize that material things aren't as important as they seem. I think I learned to appreciate the more simple things in life. Italians thrive when it comes to relationships and much of their time is dedicated in the up keeping of these bonds. I remember spending with my roommates hours talking and enjoying each others company during breakfast, lunches and dinners. Before the program started I thought that I would find the lack of personal space in Italian culture a problem, but after six weeks I think I am fairly comfortable with this whole approach. I found learning about Italian culture a highly satisfying experience and I hope to study abroad more in the future in other countries as well.

It was hands down one of the best experiences I could have ever asked for. I would go back in a heartbeat if I could just to remember the amazing time I had.

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ALN
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Fabulous Abroad Experience in Roma!

I LOVED my time in Rome. The IES staff was very helpful in assisting students with getting their footing initially in a foreign environment. I lived with an ISC, an Italian student companion, and 5 other American girls and we had an absolutely fabulous time. Not only did living with an ISC improve our language skills, but mine went above and beyond, introducing us to all of her friends and planning activities for us--she became a very dear friend. The program made it easy to fall in love with Rome from field studies to visits to the most luxurious and amazingly beautiful landmarks and museums. The countless gelato runs, unreal pasta dinners and wonderful traveling added to the incredible experience. IES planned a trip to 5 cities on the Amalfi Coast in a weekend trip for us, hosted cooking lessons and wine tastings and even orchestrated a visit to an olive grove and olive oil manufacturing plant. It was an incredible experience...I absolutely recommend IES and Rome to any and all college students interested in going abroad!

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pec5002
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Couldnt have been better

IES Rome is a phenomenal program. The teachers were all excellent and offered classes which catered to many different majors. My favorite class of all was "Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire." A great class taught by a professor born and raised in Italy who knew every in and out of his countries history.

One thing IES Rome does that others do not is that it requires you to take Italian. They offer all different levels and let you place into whatever you want. The teachers are all energetic and stress learning Italian and speaking to make your time easier as opposed to learning just to take tests. It is very helpful and what better place to learn a language than the country itself!

The facilities when I was in Rome 2007 were in the suburbs of Rome, good but far away (Took me 45 minutes to get there.) Since then the school has moved into the center (Piazza Navona) which could not be a better place to live.

The school only accepts around 200 people a semester and most of which are from large state schools (Mostly big 10.) The students are great and know how to have a good time, the nightlife is very good and don't forget about the beaches.

My favorite thing of all about the program were the field trips! They offer you to go on up to 3 free weekend field trips to places like Venice, Florence, Cinque Terra, Naples and Amalfi Coast. The accommodations are all first class and its a great way to bond with others and meet new people.

All in all going to Rome through IES was the best experience of my life. My only complaint was the school location and they heard the complaints and changed. They cater to the students and want all to learn but have a fun time doing it.