Once upon a time, Rome was the seat of one of the greatest empires that the world has ever seen. Legend has it that the city was founded nearly 3,000 years ago by Romulus and Remus, twins raised by a wolf. With so much ancient history and mythology behind Rome, you might be surprised to learn that it is still one of the largest and most influential cities in all of Europe. With magnificent ruins and monuments still lining the streets, there is no place on earth quite like the Eternal City.
High School Programs in Rome
Rome is one of the most popularly visited cities in the world, so you can imagine there are quite a few different high school programs available here. Some high school programs in Rome are focused on a specific subjects such as art, fashion, or cooking (all specialties of the Italian culture). Others are more generally oriented towards understanding the history and culture of Rome, from the earliest days of the empire through through the Renaissance to modern times.
Language immersion programs are also a very popular option for high school students in Rome. If you are learning Italian, the best way to improve your language skills is to actually live in a place where it is spoken every day. Studying abroad in Rome you can advance your fluency through daily lessons, interaction with your host family, and everyday communication on the city streets.
These programs tend to be offered for academic credit, either high school or college. Some programs will place you learning right alongside local Italian students in Rome, while others maintain their own staff and educational centers in the city. Daily lessons are usually supplemented by frequent field trips and cultural outings across the city. In Rome, with so much history alive in your surroundings, the city is undoubtedly its own best teacher!
Life in Rome
High school programs in Rome tend to last between two and eight weeks, which will give you plenty of time to explore the city. From the Colosseum and Roman Forum to the Pantheon to the Monument to Vittorio Emanuele II, Rome boasts some of the oldest and most impressive architectural feats that you will find anywhere in the world.
When you move past these famous attractions, unsurprisingly Rome has even more to offer. Along the winding backstreets and away from tourist areas, you will stumble upon tons of great cafes, restaurants, museums, and old churches worth checking out. It is near impossible to tire of wandering aimlessly through the streets of Rome.
When you do tire of walking, Rome has a great metro system that can take you pretty much anywhere you need to go across the metropolitan area. It is also a major transportation hub in Italy, and other great cities such as Florence and Milan are only a few hours away by train.
The best part about Rome though is the people. Italians are wonderful to interact with, especially if you can speak the language. While you should be wary of tourist traps in the most popular areas, making an effort to interact with locals will undoubtedly produce some of the best memories that you will take away from the trip.
Scholarships & Costs
Rome is a fairly expensive place to study abroad because it is such a big city and popular tourist destination. However most programs will cover on-site costs such as housing, food, and transportation in the upfront fees, so you will not have to worry too much about spending money while on the ground. If the cost of the program is a concern, then you should take advantage of the great fundraising and scholarship opportunities that can help you cover the costs of the trip!
Accommodation & Visas
The two types of housing that are typically available for high school students in Rome are homestays and dormitories. Homestays are the more common of the two, as most students opt for a total culturally immersive experience by these means. Dormitories are popular if you are studying at a local school, though not all programs will offer this option (don’t worry parents – students will be supervised either way!)
Italy’s visa policy will vary depending on your home country. Students coming from inside the European Union will not have to worry about obtaining a visa to study abroad in Rome, and those coming from outside of Europe are often allowed to enter the country for up to 90 days visa-free. Some nations, however, require a visa before arrival. You can check out our Embassy Directory for more information from your local Italian consulate.
Benefits & Challenges
Experience the Eternal City – For thousands of years, Rome has been immensely influential in one facet or another. Much of this history remains written in its streets, and it truly is an awe-inspiring city to explore.
Pick up a New Language - If you are already studying Italian, your language skills will improve by leaps and bounds after studying abroad in Rome. Even if you are not studying Italian, then picking up a few key phrases while living in the city will take you a long way.
Make Connections - Studying abroad in Rome, you will meet people from all over the world and form friendships that will last a lifetime. It takes an ambitious group of global peers to study abroad at such a young age, and this is exactly the group you will find yourself bonding with while in Rome.