Nathan Herman - 2015 Program Participant
Why did you decide to apply for an international program?
I decided to study abroad in order to get out of comfort zone. I chose a college that was relatively close to my hometown and had always been scared of branching out to a place that I was not accustomed to. What better way to break that spell than by flying halfway across the world!?
What made you pick the American Institute for Foreign Study in Rome?
I chose my program because I felt that it provided far more than the competitors. The excursions, flight package, resident advisors, and meal assistance were all provided, and it seemed from the reviews that the past participants really enjoyed their experience. They also provided the specific business classes that I needed (marketing and human resource management) in order to continue on my graduation plan.
What did you love most about Rome?
Where do I begin? One of the most historic cities in the world, one of the most powerful empires in history...need I say more? Being able to wake up everyday and walk among the ruins and historic places that have changed the entire world for over two millenniums was an amazing experience. The food and culture within Italy made every day a new experience.
What makes the AIFS Rome program different from other programs?
It was unique compared to other programs in Rome because of the amount of things they provided us students. They planned all of the flights, all of the living arrangements, all of the schooling, provided meal tickets for local restaurants, covered VERY inexpensive excursions and site visits...the list goes on.
AIFS went above and beyond in every aspect of the program.
How did local staff contribute to your experience?
The local staff is what made my experience so awesome and unique. Chicca and Marco are the two main advisors there and they made me feel right at home. They were so nice and funny, and I knew that I could turn to them with anything. They were always there to help, no matter the question.
What's one thing you wish you would have done differently?
I wish I would have spent more time exploring the hidden areas of Rome and appreciating the city more. I took for granted the fact that I lived in the city. Rome is one of the most amazing cities in the entire world. While I did experience a lot of the city, I think that I should have explored the city more and seen the historic city for what it was for the entire length of the program.
Describe your typical day for you in the Eternal City.
A typical day started off with going to class with my roommates. Classes were two hours long, but they only met twice a week. On our walk to school, we would stop at a local cafe to get a cappuccino and a croissant. In between classes, we would get a slice of pizza or a sandwich at a local restaurant. After class, nearly every day, there was some form of excursion or cultural experience for us students. Whether that be a cooking class, a site visit, or a wine tasting, there was always something to do or see after school. For dinner, we would either go to an amazing local restaurant for an amazing dish or make an entire dinner at our apartment.
What did you enjoy most about studying abroad in Rome, apart from your coursework?
My favorite experience was the weekend trips that I was able to take with all of my friends. As Rome was such a major travel hub city, traveling around Europe was extremely easy. I was able to experience seven countries, all within a month, because there were so many easy opportunities to see them.
What type of accommodation did you have? What did you like best about it?
I had an apartment with four other American students. It was in a very nice location. The neighborhood was called Prati; it was about a five-minute walk from my front door to the Vatican. The apartment itself was nothing fancy, with very limited furnishings. However, my roommates and I did not care that much. We were busy outside of our apartment, experiencing the city. As a note, other apartments in our program were very well furnished, so I guess it just depends on your luck.
How has your time abroad changed you as a person?
My study abroad experience completely changed my view on the world and how I experience different things. I am completely okay with going outside of my comfort zone now. In fact, I just booked a flight to go to Asia for a month to backpack all on my own. I never in a million years would be able to do something like that if I had never studied abroad.