Italy: Viterbo - Intensive Italian Language, History, and the Arts

Video and Photos

La Macchina di Santa Rosa
La Macchina di Santa Rosa
Fontana di Palazzo dei Priori
Fontana di Palazzo dei Priori
San Pellegrino in Fiore at Piazza San lorenzo/Palazzo dei Papi
San Pellegrino in Fiore at Piazza San lorenzo/Palazzo dei Papi
Joanna and roomies in Italy!
Joanna and roomies in Italy!
Piazza del Sacrario - The town center
Piazza Delle Erbe or as we called it "The Lion Fountain"
Porta Romana, one of the city's 2 main gates

About

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
  • Take 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!

New Program: Comparative Studies: Uruguay and Cuba Summer Session

Study abroad Summer 2020 for eight weeks, beginning in Montevideo, Uruguay and continuing to La Habana, Cuba, for a comparative Latin studies program ideal for any student and of particular interest to health, gender and Spanish language students.

Scholarships

USAC Scholarships
USAC Scholarships and Financial Aid

USAC awards over $2 million in scholarships and discounts each year to assist students with their study abroad expenses.

Value
$500 - $1,000

Questions & Answers

Reviews

97%
based on 31 reviews
  • Academics 8
  • Support 9.5
  • Fun 9.2
  • Housing 9
  • Safety 9.8
Showing 1 - 15 of 31
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Hannah
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Italian Language and Cultural Immersion Experience

As a Political Science and International Affairs double major, I knew that I wanted to study abroad in a place that has a rich culture, has the ability to enhance my current understanding of politics and society, and could give me a hands-on learning experience. On top of that, as a requirement for my International Affairs major, I had to learn a language for my planned country of study. Italy’s preserved history, roots in the foundations of government and politics, and intricate cultural facets made it the obvious choice for me.
Six semesters of Italian language, countless hours planning my academic schedule ahead, and many visits to the Global Education Center shifted my focus away from the traditional Rome or Florence experience to a program that could give me the language practice and intimate cultural experience that I wanted. The affordability, proximity to Rome, and program size ultimately made me choose Viterbo, Italy. As a first-generation student with little travel experience, I was intimidated of the study abroad process. However, after visiting an info session, being in contact with the GEC advisors through appointments and emails, and going through the step-by-step UNH Approved Program checklist, I can say that the process was so much easier than I had anticipated. Additionally, the accessibility to education abroad scholarships through UNH and USAC made that semester the most inexpensive one during my time in college.
I loved my time abroad because Viterbo gave me the most authentic Italian experience that I could have asked for. Viterbo is a medieval city, lined with cobblestone, with history in every single nook and cranny. One of the classes I took for a Humanities Discovery, Medieval Italian History, entailed walking around the city and taking field trips to nearby places and then having a discussion about the stories behind what we observed. The contemporary Italian lifestyle combined with an ancient landscape was so unique to itself. Additionally, the central location of Viterbo allowed me to travel to cities and towns throughout three different regions in Italy, as well as six other countries outside of Italy. Before this semester, I had never been to Europe and had only been on a plane a handful of times. After this semester, I have become more confident, independent, and am now finding ways to incorporate more travel into my personal life and career path.
My advice to any student considering an international study is: do not be afraid to travel off the beaten path! Try and identify what you would like to achieve from your study abroad experience and be open to options that are different compared to what you’ve heard people do. For me, it was mastering a language and having an authentic cultural experience. If you have your heart set on something, great- pursue it! But if you are on the fence and are open to something different, there are countless, unexpected possibilities waiting to be sought.

What would you improve about this program?
The one thing that I would improve about the program is having more group/program events. Also, I wish there was a bit more immersion with other Italian students that attended the university. We were very separated from them.
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Lauren
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

USAC Viterbo

USAC Viterbo was a wonderful program that gave me the opportunity to study not just in Italy, but in the loveliest little Italian city. My host family was absolutely fantastic as was my Italian professor—my experience in Viterbo wouldn’t have been the same without them. The city itself is an unforgettable place full of cobblestone streets, medieval history, and delicious cappuccinos. It’s also ideally located close to Rome for any European travel adventures you plan. Any student lucky enough to study in Viterbo will be able to appreciate the genuine Italian culture it maintains and the beauty of a true Italian lifestyle. My only regret is that I was only able to study in Viterbo for a semester rather than a full year! Grazie mille, Viterbo—ti adoro!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Request a home stay! Living with Italians will change your view on life and of the world :)
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Vanesa
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Pizza, Pasta & Love

I consider studying abroad in Viterbo the best choice I could have made to fulfill the wanderlust of my adventurous soul. Besides, all the typical things that make Italy one of the best and most beautiful places in the world, Viterbo is unique in its own admirable way. I was drawn to this small medieval town because of everything that it had to offer. Not only does the city have an intricate and interesting history, but there was also always something to do; there was a constant calm buzz within the city. Whether it was seeing the magnificent transportation of the Macchina di Santa Rosa, or drinking some fresh vino from wine pouring out of a fountain, or enjoying the lively nights at bars and restaurants with friends, there was always something going on.

What made my experience so amazing was the locals, my wonderful host mom, finding small hidden corners, visiting the charming and romantic small towns around the region, and of course, the food. I fell completely in love with everything there – the people, the experiences, the moments, and even an Italian boy... Maybe you’ll also be able to live out your Lizzie Mcguire dream of riding on the back of an Italian boy’s vespa, just like I did.

I have been back to Viterbo four times since I studied there and that within itself shows just how much this trip has impacted my life. It has inspired me to travel more and has impacted my future aspirations. USAC’s motto is learning without borders and I feel I had embodied that completely (and continue to do so) because my experience has transformed the way I perceive myself and the world. I will always feel at home in Viterbo.

Some tips:

My number one recommendation is to connect with the locals because it helps you to understand the culture more and also gives you an opportunity to speak and practice the language. Along with that, make an effort: Italians love Americans, they will love talking to you! They are very friendly and welcoming. One of the things I loved about Viterbo was the close knit community. Everyone in town knew each other or would recognize you if they saw you out and about and would happily greet you.

Also, stay connected with friends and family from home. Communication is super important and everyone has loved ones back home thinking about them. I know my mom was always worried for my safety and wanting to know if I was o.k., a simple text saying ‘I’m alive’ was all she needed to feel at ease.

My biggest advice I have is to take each breath as new and stay present. Being abroad is hard – you’re doing things on your own and living in a completely different environment than you’re used to. Be patient with yourself and allow yourself to enjoy events, outings, and interactions in the present moment. I had many friends that would be sad to be missing out in things back home and sometimes I had to tell them to snap out of it! I would tell them, remember what you wanted what you currently have? Try to remain present.

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Melanie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The best program I could ask for!

I participated in Summer Session 1 of USAC's Viterbo Program. I took 7 credits, 4 in Intensive Italian Language and 3 in Italian Hill Town Architecture. The language course was amazing, the professor was so sweet and I learned so much in the short 6 weeks I was there. The academic class was in Italian with a translator, the professor was very intelligent and taught the subject at a national university in Rome.
The apartment was fully equipped with bedding, pots, pan, furniture and all that. The only thing you would need to bring or buy would be a shower towel. The ceiling of my apartment was really high, the room was extremely spacious.

What would you improve about this program?
Interaction with the host culture is hard during summer term when there aren't many students on campus, but I would say if any field needed to be improved it would be that. Maybe they could plan even one event where university students from the host country could join the American students in an activity.
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Travis
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

USAC: Viterbo, Italy (Summer Session)

Choosing to study in Viterbo, Italy was by far one of the best decisions I have ever made. The city is beautiful, historic, and authentic. I wanted to experience Italy in a smaller site so I could immerse myself in the culture without being distracted by tourism. Viterbo offers just that. Countless cafes and restaurants to try with fresh and mouth-watering food, pastries, and coffee. And I think I ate gelato every day! On top of that, the locals were extremely welcoming and wanted to learn just as much about us as we did them. We'd take turns teaching each other different phrases and talking about our respective experiences and viewpoints. The night life was always something you wanted to be a part of, whether it was chatting up the local bartenders as they made you a one of a kind drink or exploring the cobblestone streets during cultural festivals and celebrations. Viterbo was its own little world but also represented a part of the Italian experience in a small scale that I appreciated more than anything. I studied abroad to expand my global perspective and become more familiar and exposed to others' cultures and experiences. The professors and instructors at La Università degli Studi della Tuscia and the USAC program staff did an amazing job with connecting us to Viterbo and Italy in and outside of the classroom. Italian language courses taught us enough to get around and exposed us to different ways of thinking and the language's history. The Italian cuisine course not only gave us the opportunity to make and eat delicious traditional dishes, but it also gave us insight to the Italian experience that you can't get from reading books or blog posts or cookbooks. The field study and the excursions to other parts of Italy showed us the other aspects and cultures of Italy we may have been missing in Viterbo and enhanced our traveling skills outside of a city that took 20 minutes to walk across. The apartments you live in potentially expose you to a very different living style than you are used to. But even without AC, I loved leaving my windows and door open so I could hear the sounds of Viterbo and feel the breeze. And living without a dryer and other utilities that other Italians don't have gave me a chance to put myself in the shoes of others and try new things. If you're looking for a more close knit town with amazing food and gelato, welcoming people, and a program built for your success and experience, USAC Viterbo is the way to go!

What would you improve about this program?
Maybe an excursion to Northern Italy. More developed and longer excursion in Rome.
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Mychelle
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Finding A True Home

My life was completely changed by this program. I fell madly in love with Italy; the people, the food, the culture, the art, the architecture, the landscape, absolutely everything.
I studied here in Spring 2015 and returned for Summer 2016. Before going I spoke zero Italian and admittedly didn't know too much about the country and it's culture. Since my USAC program, I now speak conversational Italian and have tried to become somewhat of an expert on the country.
The staff was amazing, the Italian teachers are amazing, the city is beautiful and so safe (walking home alone at night was never scary).
Because of it's proximity to Rome, you can easily fly anywhere in Europe or you can just take a train from Viterbo to anywhere in Italy.
I made great friends from Italy and abroad that I still keep in touch with regularly even three years later.
The passion for life I found in Viterbo drove me to pursue my own passion for photography. I changed my major and have since graduated and I am working as a photographer. I have also been actively trying to find a way to permanently move to Italy because of experience studying there with USAC.
I could go on for hours (and often do) about studying in Viterbo and how important it is to study abroad in college and I have successfully pursuaded students to do the same.
As a Sicilian friend once told me: Always say yes to everything, because you never know what crazy adventures you'll go on and how you will grow. Study abroad.

What would you improve about this program?
I honestly can't think of a thing right now that I would want changed about the program. Maybe offering more classes?
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Rochelle
7/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Experience of a lifetime

This experience truly changed my life. To say my entire experience abroad was easy would be a lie, but I learned so much. This trip truly opened my eyes and allowed me to understand other cultures. Viterbo is a very small Italian town. The classes were educational and fun, and the town is very safe. Viterbo allows you to truly experience the Italian language, culture, and experience Italian life! If you’re looking for the small town feel, family oriented experience I highly recommend Viterbo! You’re life will never be the same!

What would you improve about this program?
It would have been great to have more group activities to get to know everyone. The staff in the office should check on each student to make sure they are immersing okay in their new living environment. It would help tremendously!
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Jordan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Fall 2016 in Viterbo, Italy

This program was the best choice I ever made! From arrival to departure we had a fantastic time. The small town Italy atmosphere was perfect in Viterbo. We were truly immersed in the culture and loved our little town. I recommend this program for those who are looking for a slower pace of life as compared to the big city lifestyle. The USAC staff was amazing as well! Super friendly and helpful. The courses and teachers were enjoyable. Living in Viterbo is like being transported to the past. Everywhere you look there is something beautiful! Also the food is AMAZING. All over Italy and in Viterbo. Do yourself a favor and discover the hidden gem of Viterbo!

What would you improve about this program?
This program is wonderful and I can't think of any specific ways it could be improved. There is some level of organizational confusion but in truth that is the Italian way! It is par for the course.
Camila
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Viterbo

Overall my experience abroad was fantastic. The classes were interesting and the professors were really passionate about what they were teaching. My main objective of studying abroad was to travel everywhere and get out of my comfort zone. I travelled every weekend to somewhere new in Europe and it honestly won’t have been possible without the support of the program staff. This experience was better than I even imagined before starting the application process. I had the opportunity to meet new friends and long-lost family, travel everywhere in Europe, learn a new language, and take a huge leap out of my comfort zone. I recommend any student in college to study abroad because it’s an amazing experience to be a part of.

What would you improve about this program?
The Viterbo program was great. The staff was very helpful with everything and the professors were great. I wouldn’t change anything.
Jordan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

USAC Viterbo - Autumn 2015

Having wanted to go to Italy for literally years, I couldn't have been more excited about going to study in small-town Viterbo, deep in the Lazio region. This is without even knowing what the town looked like, what USAC was or that I was going to be the only Kiwi in the middle of a gang of USA students and Italians.
I didn't think I'd forget what my own accent sounded like in just four months, or become addicted to gelato, or live-in with two great (if bogan) Italians, but I did know I was in for the time of my life.
Right from the start, the team on the ground in Italy were there to help, going above and beyond to give us travelling tips as well as orientation and general knowledge about Italian life.
Academically, studying in a university which used to be a monastery was a huge highlight, as was taking classes in Italian - both challenging but immensely rewarding, as it ignited a passion for learning the language, which I continue to study to this day.
My group of fellow students was another highlight - I made so many lifelong friends in a short period of time and they were all so much fun to travel with.
In short, I couldn't recommend this program more. Study in Viterbo, it will change your life!

Sara
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

What a Dream!

USAC Viterbo was a lifetime memory. I cannot say enough good things about Viterbo and the support system put into place there. The field trips were so thought out- with amazing professors leading them. The USAC office was right near our classes, and I felt so comfortable walking in with any concerns or questions I had. When I got sick, they were right there for me, taking me to the doctors, etc.
This program is so intimate and filled with close connections. The city is small, the group is small, but it makes it that much better. They put their students in apartments all around Viterbo, with wonderful roommates and they do their absolute best to accommodate any of your needs.
Truly, I could not have imagined a better support system. They made such an effort to make sure the whole group was connecting and having a good time. This was my first time abroad for around 4 months, it is a perfect combination of support and a sense of independence. I was able to get an internship as an English Teacher, and I know many other students in my program had internships created for them based on what they were looking for! (Radio host, article publisher, etc.)
10/10 for Viterbo. At first, I thought is this place too small, or in a location, I wouldn't prefer, but all those thoughts went away the second I got there. I love Viterbo!

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Samantha
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Immerse yourself

I’d recommend going to a small city like Viterbo in Italy. I was forced to communicate in Italian and I learned a lot of Italian and of the culture (I also rarely saw tourists). I met so many people from all over Europe and made so many American friends as well. It’s important to make those extra choices and step out of your comfort zone, because you’ll never know what could happen. After taking the initiative to travel on the weekends, sometimes by myself, I now have the itch to travel the world. Once you study abroad, you’ll catch the travel bug!

What would you improve about this program?
I would have liked the USAC advisors to set up more social events with the Erasmus students.
Read my full story
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Karolyn
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

USAC: Viterbo

I absolutely loved my program and I am so happy I chose it. My university offers a number of programs in Italy to choose from, but the USAC: Viterbo program had the best of everything Italy had to offer. It's not a huge city full of tourists, so we had an authentic experience away from massive tourist towns like Rome. The USAC staff on-site were wonderful. They helped us with everything we needed and were incredibly friendly. I loved the selection of classes and the fact that we could go on field trips to see what we were learning about in person. There are so many beautiful places around Viterbo to visit, we always had something to do and were never bored. Viterbo is a lovely city with an amazing history, lovely city center, and great social scene. The locals were friendly and we made a lot of friends with the other university students. The city is a perfect place to study in Italy and have the best experience possible.

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Fiona
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Fall in Viterbo

This program was incredible, and life changing in ways that I had never expected. I took the intensive Italian language track 1, and drawing and painting Viterbo. Both of my professors were extraordinary people, and educators. I got tons of 1 on 1 feedback from them, and they cared about me enough to notice when I was withdrawing a bit in class because of homesickness. I learned an incredible amount of Italian, and although I did not leave feeling as if I had become part of the Italian community (any self-aware person will come to the realization that it's impossible to become fully integrated into a culture you have only known for 4 months), I met incredible people, who gave me a whole new faith in all the people around me. I came back to America with a new intrigue in my peers, and a willingness and desire to listen to other's stories. This is such an eye opening program if you let it be, and get past all the traps of falling back into your own comfortable culture while you're there! Thank you so much to my professors, family, and friends who were with me during this formative time in my life!

What would you improve about this program?
More activities with the local Italian students.
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Casey
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Viterbo, Italy

This was my first experience in Europe and it was amazing. I loved meeting students from both Italy and across the US. It was a memorable experience that gave me perspective when I met new people from different cultures. Learning Italian in the country where I could practice it made the trip both challenging and fun. I hope to travel back to Viterbo, Italy again to visit friends and have the experience of living abroad once again.