Honestly, the academic portion of the program was rough, especially if you're not an art (history) major. I struggled a little bit in the beginning because one of the art classes's discussions was always about the Bible (duh!). But I have ZERO background in biblical figures, stories, etc. so I felt like I was taking two classes in one: Renaissance art and Christianity 101.
But if you can manage your time and get your work done early, you have PLENTY of time to have fun and go out and explore.
Some of my roommates who ended up struggling a lot (and not getting great grades) were the ones that procrastinate like they do at home, watch TV shows online for hours and finish up hw last minute, even morning of. That's fine, if you don't care to go out at night or whatever.
But honestly, you're in ROME. You're ABROAD. Once in a life time opportunity, I'm not gonna spend my time sitting in the apartment watching hours of tv shows. I'm gonna get my sh*t done so I have more free time.
Aside of the amazing sites IN Rome, it's so nice that it's relatively close to everything: Greece, Spain, France, Germany, Northern Italy, Southern Italy (Sicily too).
overall, I LOVED the program.
But the biggest thing I think is HOW YOU USE YOUR TIME.