USAC Italy: Viterbo
99% Rating
(16 Reviews)

USAC Italy: Viterbo

USAC and Tuscia University in Viterbo, Italy have partnered up, offering an exciting study abroad program for students interested in History, Art, Music, Environmental and Italian Studies. Classes vary slightly depending on the specific term, with all of the specifics easily found on the USAC website.

Viterbo is an ideal destination to study and practice the Italian language and to experience the rich Italian culture away from English-speaking tourist areas. Check out all of the details today by viewing the video below or visiting the USAC website!

Highlights
  • Study history, environmental sciences, art, and journalism while living an authentic Italian experience in a stunning historic, medieval location
  • Enjoy this affordable university town and its picturesque fountains, palaces, narrow streets, and medieval churches living and learning in direct contact with the local community, their traditions, food, and folklore
  • Join the many unique field trips to lakes, waterfalls, medieval hill towns as well as the optional field study in Southern Italy and take advantage of the access to beaches, mountains, sailing, horseback
  • ake advantage of Viterbo’s location: centrally situated between Rome and Florence—with the Mediterranean Sea only an hour away—with access to the international airports in Rome where many low cost airlines make it easy to travel as a group or on your own!
Locations
Europe » Italy » Viterbo
Program Type
Provider
Subject Areas
Communications
Cultural Studies
Food Science and Nutrition
Geography
Sociology
Degree Level
Bachelors
Timeframe
Academic Year
Fall
Spring
Summer
Accommodation
Apartment
Dormitory
Host Family
Language
English
Steps
Online Application
Visa Requirement

Questions & Answers

Program Reviews

  • Academics
    78%
  • Support
    94%
  • Fun
    91%
  • Housing
    89%
  • Safety
    98%

Program Reviews (16)

Default avatar
Stephany
Female
25 years old
San Francisco Bay Area
California State University- Chico

Oh, Viterbo, how I love you so.

10/10

What makes living in Viterbo unique? Well, lets start with it's not well known. And then let's get a kick out of telling people I've lived in a little medieval city in Italy for 9 months and haven't stopped going back there since. I love watching people's eyes widen when I tell them that, and then of course I immediately I start looking for flights to Rome. I think this is one of the things about studying abroad and living in a place like Viterbo; you can't get enough of it.

You all need to know that you're going to fall in love, and I don't mean with an Italian boy like I did (unless that happens to you, I support you!), but you're going to find your self falling in love with another way of life. You will learn to adapt well to their cultural hours, festivities, eating habits, pisolini (naps), and gelato eating so rapidly that when it's time to leave, you've acquired more culture shock going home than when you arrived in Viterbo. I would say, be prepared for some unexpected feelings going home. I couldn't express more literally that my life has taken a full 360 in almost every way.

Let's move on to some serious stuff though; academics! I personally had a great academic experience studying in Viterbo. The courses offered by USAC lean more toward liberal science, art, and history, but of course they do. I mean look at the place! Viterbo is so rich in history, beauty, art, and love. My course load, however, was not as packed as others, so I had more free time to go away on the weekends, which I didn't do much because I enjoyed spending time in Viterbo, near by cities, and Italy in general. Yet, the workload can be challenging, which is a good thing! I know some students had their personal issues with professors and the way they teach and blah blah, but you got to make it work, and you will.
To sum up, it's completely manageable studying in Viterbo, being academically challenged, and fitting in you're travelling and fun all at the same time.

Tips:

1. Listen and learn the language. "La lingua Italiana sia bellissima!" Most of the young generation speak little English, with some cute grammar mistakes, but the older Italian man who owns the local printing shop down the street and who loves to talk you ear off doesn't know what you're talking about.

2. You will be stared at. Don't take this personally, all Italian's stare and it's what makes them intimating, but in a beautiful way (can I say that?). And if at first they don't smile, not to worry, they'll come around and notice. It took me about a week to get the barista at Happiness Cafe to smile at me every time I walked by.

3. Localize yourself and get in with the locals. Some people are so shocked that I could speak Italian pretty fluently after a semester and that's because I not only studied the language to the core, but I spent 80% of my days speaking it. I traveled mostly to Italian cities and if not I was in the center of Viterbo chit-chatting it up with everyone I could. I mean, I heard Sicilian and some Italian growing up, but never truly picked it up. So, I spent most of my time hanging out with the local Italian students and Viterbesi. It's fun, honestly, and localizing yourself is worth while; people start to know who you are and want to hang out. I got friends all over the place now. I think I sent more graduation announcements to Italy than in California.

4. Food tip: MANGIA! (EAT, obviously). And find a cute Italian boy, or girl, to make you Carbonara like I did. Also take all food, cuisine, and cooking courses that USAC offers. The cuisine exam is a joke because there's so much information for a multiple choice, but you will pass I promise and it's so wonderful tasting wines and eating cheeses in class!

How can this program be improved?

There could be a tour of the University. USAC students are pretty confined to certain areas, and the University is small as is so seeing more of it would be a good experience. I was lucky I got to see more of the University than others. I had drawing class that showed me the beautiful quarters, my roommate showed me the library to study, I volunteered to speak on the Unitus Radio, and I just kinda roamed around a lot.

It's hard to get American students to integrate with other Italian students and visa-versa so having more planned sessions/group meetings (like international day), would be beneficial!

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Kayla
Female
23 years old
Nevada
University of Nevada

Home Away from Home

10/10

Attending USAC Viterbo for my junior year of college was by far the best decision of my college experience. The on-site staff are incredible--knowledgeable, helpful, caring, and always ready to go out of their way to help make this the best experience possible. The housing is lovely, the field trips are enriching and well planned, and Viterbo will feel like home sooner than you ever thought possible. I made friends here that I will have for the rest of my life and I have never felt more safe than I did walking through these medieval walls. You will never regret attending this program and all of the incredible memories made here.

Default avatar
Zoe
Female
21 years old
Reno
University of Nevada Reno

Nothing short of amazing

9/10

Italy is perhaps my favorite country right now. The country, language, and culture are just so beautiful. This program did not offer any courses in my major but I chose Viterbo becuase I love history. Due to it's location, this is a great place to study abroad if you like history and learning about more of the lesser known facts about Italy.
The staff was great and USAC really cares about you as a student and making sure you have a safe enjoyable experience.

Default avatar
Joanna
Female
30 years old
Oakland California
California State University- Chico

Grazie Mille Viterbo!

10/10

I studied in Viterbo for a semester in college, and wish I had stayed for the whole year. The USAC program director Stefano was incredible and ran a very strong program. The courses were interesting and relevant, and there were special arrangements made to take additional courses at a neighboring university, if you were motivated to do so. When I first started the semester, I was living in a dorm but really wanted to live with Italian students. I made some Italian friends who needed a roommate, and Stefano and the USAC team were very supportive in helping me change my accommodations. In my opinion, they went above and beyond (could have very easily told me no) to make sure I was happy with my living situation. This ended up defining my study abroad experience in an extremely positive way. My roomies welcomed me into their lives, introduced me to their friends, and included me in nightly family dinners -- which were to die for! My Italian improved quickly and I learned so much about Italian culture from that immersion. The town itself was very safe and charming. Each evening the town would do a passeggiata, where everyone would walk the central street in their best clothes “to see and been seen” on the town. The locals were very friendly, and since it was a smaller town they didn’t speak English- forcing study abroad students to implement their language skills out of the classroom. The friends that I made (both the Italians and Americans) are still very much a part of my life today, and I am forever grateful for the time spent in Viterbo and the role Stefano + the team played in inspiring that experience!

Grazie mille ragazzi :)

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Marissa
Female

Just Go!

10/10

I loved Viterbo! It is such a cool city and it's nice to see the medieval history along with the modern twist. It was such a fun nightlife and the locals are great. Stefano and his staff are so helpful and I miss them like crazy. Just go, you will definitely not regret it!

How can this program be improved?

I wish I lived inside the city walls or closer to the other students.

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Rachel
Female
23 years old
Reno, NV

Chaotic Crazy Fun Italy

10/10

After an unfortunate event in Napoli for the weekend we had to head back to Viterbo earlier than expected. We decided to take a certain train out, realizing we got back too later to make our connecting train. We decided that, in order to make the right connection we had to get on a different train. We didn't have to right ticket and were taking a gamble. We got off in a town called Orte and realized that there was no train connecting but a bus, that was about to leave in 3 minutes. We sprinted to the stop and realized that we wouldn't make it. Thankfully the bus broke down giving us plenty of time for the new one to arrive. The new bus was about half way to Viterbo when it started spewing black smoke. The driver didn't stop, and kept plucking along, we ended up with a line of angry drivers behind us. At one point the driver stopped and hit some things near the engine and started driving again. We finally made it back at almost 11:00pm. And the 6 of us got pizza and wine to celebrate our crazy, eventful day.

How can this program be improved?

Italy is chaotic but I think besides that fact things were well organized. It would have been nice to have a list of places I could eat especially with my food allergy but it was an adventure finding things myself. Also a list of markets would have been nice to refernece.

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Abby
Female
Reno, Nevada
University of Nevada Reno

If you want Italian Culture, go to Viterbo

9/10

Italy is charming- it is a slower pace of life, the people are friendly, and the cobble stone streets make perfect Instagram pictures. I expected to travel Europe, but Italy left too much to see in 4 short months- though I left the country a few times, I just wanted to explore Italy. I could tell you about all the famous landmarks in Italy and what they looked like in person- Leaning Tower of Pisa really does lean, and nothing compares to the hillside towns of Cinque Terre.
Though the landmarks are stunning and the history unfathomable, Viterbo is all about culture. The food, the architecture, and the people are unmatched in Viterbo. If you want Italian Culture, go to Viterbo. Also, if you want the best gelato ever, go to Viterbo.

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Savannah
Female
24 years old
United States
Viterbo University

Amazing Destination

10/10

Viterbo might be a small city with few clubs, but it is full of delicious restaurants, friendly locals, and great shops. It is close to Rome and therefore easy to travel to and from, so you can cost effectively see all of Europe. The USAC staff was very friendly and helpful, but let us have a huge amount of independence. I made the friends of a lifetime in Viterbo and I would go back in a heartbeat.

How can this program be improved?

While I enjoyed planning my own trips to various countries, I would have liked more planned trips to be available for us.

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Ellen
Female
24 years old
Charleston
College of Charleston

Just go for it!

10/10

This was the best decision I've ever made. First and foremost, Viterbo itself is such a great place. We were close enough to the big cities that it was easy for us to travel, yet we were far enough away that we weren't surrounded by tourists and over-priced coffee. It's a traditional Italian town, with everything you'd expect...family owned cafes and pizza restaurants, little markets where you can buy local breads, cheeses, wines, and meats, piazzas with buzzing crowds, historic and beautiful scenery, and welcoming Italians. Viterbo is an absolutely wonderful place. And, as far as the program itself, it's FIVE stars easily. I can't imagine a better staff than the small and tight-knit team that worked with us. There were about 40 students in our program and we had 4 advisors on site that were so dedicated and worked hard to ensure that we had the best experience possible (not to mention all of our teachers that were there for us too). We became our own little family. Overall, I would DEFINITELY recommend Viterbo to anyone who is interested. I became so close with other students in my program, as well as with the locals around town. It was truly an authentic Italian experience that changed my life.

How can this program be improved?

I don't think there is much that really needs to be improved on. But, since I have to pick one thing, I'd say that it would have been nice if there would have been a home-stay option, that way we could live with Italian families.

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Jena
Female
24 years old
United States
University of Nevada Reno

Life changing semester

10/10

I studied 4 years ago in Viterbo. The town is beautiful and charming and I always felt incredibly safe. The staff is helpful to find you volunteer opportunities or anything that suits your interests. The optional tours are a must! I felt like I got to see almost everything I wanted. The classes are heavily art or international relations based, but I took the opportunity to get in touch with my artistic side. The food will change your life.

How can this program be improved?

I wasn't fully immersed with Italians. You really had to seek it out on your own. It would have been great to have a more structured cultural immersion program. I spent a lot of time with fellow American students!

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Hannah
Female
24 years old
Fayetteville, AR
University of Arkansas- Fayetteville

Viterbo, Italy

10/10

Studying abroad in Viterbo was the best decision I could have ever made. If you are someone who is looking for the traditional Italian experience, this is the place for you. Everything about it is so authentically Italian that, at times you think it's cheesy, but then you realize that you are actually in Italy and not some American resort desperately trying to be Italian. Everything about this place like the cobble stone streets, the flower boxes on every window, the fact that hardly anyone speaks English, the outdoor market, the medieval cathedrals around every corner, the incredibly generous and welcoming locals, the USAC staff, the beautiful fountains, the always entertaining nightlife, the wine guy, the food, the hot springs and the bright red poppies that grow like weeds make it the most magical place you could ever dream of calling home for a semester. Yes, Rome and Florence are wonderful, but don't sell yourself short- if you want to live in an authentic Italian city that is relatively untouched by westernization- choose Viterbo.

How can this program be improved?

Honestly, I cannot think of anything I would improve upon.

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Amy
Female
24 years old
Fayetteville, AR
University of Arkansas- Fayetteville

Small town= Great Community and Culture

10/10

I loved being able to immerse myself in a smaller community and get to know the locals. While studying in Rome or Florence would have been fun I would have been one of many Americans. The best part about Viterbo was that the only Americans in the city were our classmates. No part of the city was Americanized and I felt extremely safe within the comforting walls of the city. If you're looking for an authentic study abroad experience in Italy, go to Viterbo!!!!!!

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Josie
Female
24 years old
Iowa city, Iowa
University of Iowa

Best summer of my life!

10/10

My summer abroad experience in Viterbo italy, summer session 1, 2013 was the most amazing experience of my life. The program was just structured enough to keep us busy but gave us enough free time to experience the Italian culture and travel elsewhere. The classes would challenge our american culture and way of thinking, they would teach us Italian ways, culture and history. The program leaders were so helpful and friendly. They would go out of their way to make sure we feel comfortable. I felt very safe and connected to the usac community.

Viterbo was a perfect pick for me! It gives you a chance to truly emerse yourself into the small town Italy culture and lifestyle, and only a short train ride to Rome. Viterbo is a smaller town and makes you really connect to the people and culture. It's abosolutely beautiful. Viterbo has the perfect amount of disconnect and connectionedness to the rest of the world.

USAC Program brought us on many day trips through the different classes they offered. My personal favorite experience was the south of Italy trip. We stayed in an amazing hotel with a breath taking view of the Mediterranean sea. We had freedom to explore and also have planned tours to enrich our time spent there.

I appreciate everything usac did for me and the experiences I gained through them. I strongly recommend this program!!

How can this program be improved?

I wish there was a foods or wine class available for my program.

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A
Female
24 years old
Reno NV
University of Nevada Reno

The Summer of a Lifetime

10/10

Viterbo was the most beautiful town. It felt like home by the end of my program and I still feel homesickness for Viterbo. The program staff were the most helpful people in everything from academics, personal problems, and weekend trip planning. If i could go back I would do it in a heartbeat.

How can this program be improved?

I wish I had had more opportunities to meet Italian students.

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AmberLW
Female
32 years old
Reno, NV
University of Nevada

Dorms

10/10

The Dorms that USAC used were outside of the city walls and it was a walk to get back into the city. Though, once you get used to it, it was really enjoyable. I LOVED this city! I'm so glad i got to study there for a semester!

I can't wait to go back with my husband and enjoy the wonderful food and people!! If you want a real taste of Italy, Viterbo is the town!

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Magical_Loon
Female
32 years old
Sheffield, United Kingdom
Northern Arizona University

Too many choices? Choose Viterbo, every time.

10/10

I initially decided to study abroad in Italy for two reasons. The first was to see the homeland, the country where my parents were born and raised, while the second was to improve my fluency of the language. I could not have made a better decision than attending the Università degli Studi della Tuscia and going to Viterbo. If you want to experience a real Italian life, Viterbo is where you want to choose. You can go to the other much larger and more famous cities, but then you'd also be getting an Americanized version of Italy, the one created for tourists. If that's what you want, you might as well visit any Little Italy that you can find in various cities across the U.S. and save yourself the airfare. Viterbo has everything that you could ever want from excellent and personalized education to caring and helpful USAC staff to a true experience of living in a medieval Italian town. I still remember waking up in the morning and getting ready to start the day while listening Italian life happening outside my window. But then the most wonderful thing happened: the moment I stepped outside my door, I became part of that Italian life. I walked the historic streets, visited the same cafés and restaurants, bought fresh and local food from the daily market, interacted with the locals, never missed a town festival, and most importantly, I made friends with some of the most amazing people I have ever met. Our group shared a bond that summer in Viterbo that no one else knows or can attain. You can have the same thing when you decide to go and I can guarantee that you won't regret it. If I could redo my study abroad choice for that summer, I would choose Viterto all over again, every single time.

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USAC is a non-profit consortium of U.S. universities that collaborates to offer affordable, academic and authentic study abroad programs. There are abundant opportunities to immerse in the culture, history, and academics of other countries providing an unforgettable experience. Each program is designed to help you

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