USAC Italy: Viterbo

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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!

Questions & Answers

Reviews

97%
based on 27 reviews
  • Academics 7.9
  • Support 9.5
  • Fun 9.1
  • Housing 8.9
  • Safety 9.8
Showing 1 - 15 of 27
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Travis
10/10

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!

How can this program be improved?
Maybe an excursion to Northern Italy. More developed and longer excursion in Rome.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Mychelle
10/10

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.

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

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!

How can this program be improved?
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!
Yes, I recommend
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Jordan
10/10

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!

How can this program be improved?
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.
Yes, I recommend
Camila
10/10

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.

How can this program be improved?
The Viterbo program was great. The staff was very helpful with everything and the professors were great. I wouldn’t change anything.
Yes, I recommend
Jordan
10/10

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!

Yes, I recommend
Sara
10/10

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!

Yes, I recommend
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Samantha
10/10

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!

How can this program be improved?
I would have liked the USAC advisors to set up more social events with the Erasmus students.
Yes, I recommend
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Karolyn
10/10

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.

Yes, I recommend
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Fiona
9/10

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!

How can this program be improved?
More activities with the local Italian students.
Yes, I recommend
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Casey
8/10

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.

Yes, I recommend
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Stephany
10/10

Oh, Viterbo, how I love you so.

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!
Yes, I recommend
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Kayla
10/10

Home Away from Home

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.

Yes, I recommend
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Zoe
9/10

Nothing short of amazing

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.

Yes, I recommend
Joanna LaFrancesca
Joanna
10/10

Grazie Mille Viterbo!

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 :)

Yes, I recommend

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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...