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USAC ITALY: Viterbo-History, Art, Photography, & Journalism
University Studies Abroad Consortium participants University Studies Abroad Consortium participants

USAC ITALY: Viterbo-History, Art, Photography, & Journalism

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

USAC Viterbo

I cannot recommend studying abroad with USAC enough. The staff were incredibly helpful the whole time leading up to my arrival in Italy, and when I got there they already knew all of us that were going to be in the program and were just so welcoming and accommodating. The entire summer was amazing - I had so many opportunities through the program. I've made such amazing friends and connections - I ended up getting to work as an artist's assistant and as a nanny of a local family. I loved my experience and grew so much because of it, and I couldn't have gained so much without the help of this amazing program

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Thankful for USAC

USAC is a really excellent company to use when studying abroad. They were really helpful from start to finish. The visa application process can be very stressful, but USAC was there the whole time to answer any question I had and to give me amble helpful resources. Once I arrived at my study abroad location, the help continued. I felt very comfortable around the USAC staff from the moment I stepped off the plane. Living in a new country is insanely difficult, but USAC was there every step of the way. The first couple of weeks, I had problems with my room. It only took a day once I told USAC about the problem for it to be resolved. Some of my friends have had similar problems, whether it money or health related, that USAC either solved or resolved within days. The staff at the USAC office in Viterbo make you feel safe. They make you feel important. But most of all, they make you feel at home.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    10

A once in a lifetime experience

Studying abroad in Viterbo changed my life. Living and studying in Italy for a semester were my favorite four months of my life. However, I must admit, I had great luck. I had amazing roommates and made lifelong friends, whom I still keep in touch with two years later. My apartment was super cool, in a centuries-old building, in the center of the city. I did not have any health problems while abroad, while a few of my fellow students did. I loved my classes and professors. I did not have any negative experiences traveling across the country and continent, while some of my friends did. I was also lucky to sustain a long distance relationship with my girlfriend, she was even able to visit me, and we are still together! So I think I got a best-case scenario when I studied abroad, but even if it wasn't a best-case scenario, my opinion would not have changed. I absolutely loved Viterbo, its people, its beautiful sites, its food, its culture, etc. And I believe everyone that is considering studying abroad should do it!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Go Here!

I went to Italy with really high expectations, thinking this would be a great semester. I cannot adequately convey how thoroughly my expectations were exceeded. I fell in love with Italy, from the people to the language, and everything in between. So much so, that rather than gallivanting around Europe as I expected, I couldn't bring myself to leave Italy even once throughout the semester. Viterbo is particularly well suited to those that want to learn Italian or immerse themselves in the culture. When I compare with my brother that studied in Rome, our experiences of Italy were vastly different. Viterbo is conveniently located near big cities without being too close. Everything in the city is within walking distance, and the people are wonderful. Go here!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Impactful, fun and affordable

I thought I had a great college experience. I was heavily involved in extracurricular, social and played an NCAA sport. I didn't realize how wrong I was until I studied abroad in Viterbo for my last semester. Studying abroad here is what made my college experience. The rest of it just doesn't stand up to what I learned and experienced while studying abroad.

Here are the things that stood out from my time there.

1. It's beautiful. From the architecture to the countryside, to the people -- there's a picturesque scene everywhere. Of course you have seen pictures and movies that feature the castles and the Colosseum, but your history book doesn't do it justice. The first time I saw the Colosseum (by accident because I was lost) my jaw dropped.

2. Speaking of getting lost, Viterbo is a wonderful town to lose yourself in -- both physically and mentally. I felt safe walking around the city at night (even with the creepy Italian guys), which is something I couldn't say for my campus back home. It's a beautiful stroll on the cobblestone streets at night with a glass of wine and a cornetto at 3 a.m. You're on your own in a foreign country. You get on the wrong bus at least three times, miss your turn by a few blocks, miss a flight and many trains (or the trains just don't show up) and sometimes feel completely overwhelmed, and then not being able to communicate very well on top of that. You're going to grow as a person here. If you're not street smart, you will be by the time you leave. If you are, you'll still grow as a person. No matter what, you'll surprise yourself.

3. The academics. Yes, the classes are a little easier there, but the education extends beyond the classroom. Would you rather obsess over your Italian verbs flash cards or go practice by speaking to locals in a bar? Each of my classes extended beyond the classroom. I recognized paintings and sculptures I learned about in my Renaissance Art class when strolling through museums all over Europe. I knew about the art, its creator and the history around it, and appreciated it so much more. Your professors, whether it's photography, writing or cooking, teach you how to look through a different lens.

4. The people. First thought: The people there are friendly, fun, family/community-focused and welcoming. Second thought: Like I said before, a lot of the men can be a bit creepy. Not scary creepy, more like womanizer/stereotypical frat guy creepy. (No offense to people in fraternities. I know plenty of nice guys in fraternities.)

5. The food. I gained 20 pounds in seven months. I think that's all that needs to be said.

6. The cultural immersion. If you want to learn Italian, then study abroad here. It's a small town and most don't speak English. If you study abroad in Rome or another big city, you won't learn as much.

7. It's what you make of it. There were people who needed assistance from Simone and Stefano most of the time, and they got it. The program directors were like family and would help every step of the way. There were also more independent students who we wouldn't hear from for days. So whether you need a little more guidance or just somewhere to store your suitcase, you decide how you want this study abroad experience to go.

I think this is a great program and amazing place to study abroad. OK, so I'm a little biased here probably because I met my boyfriend of three years there. But really, even romance aside, this program made a huge, positive impact on myself as a person and my life path. I know it sounds corny and everyone probably says that their program changed their life, but you'll just have to get on a plane to see for yourself. That's what we all did.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    N/A

  • Community

    10

Instagram-worthy, but you'll want to put the phone down

What do I mean...You'll be so busy on your next adventure, you'll likely forget the awesome time you had just the day before. I'm talking being sang the National Anthem by a local on the street that's in awe of American culture, singing words you don't know at the top of your lungs over dinner at the Medieval festival, or laughing at how foreign you are when you realize you've hopped on a bus without purchasing a ticket first, the wrong bus I might add. Get lost in a labyrinth-like, 12th century, old city, and right when you start to think you've found Shrek's home, you'll realize...they're nowhere near Rome in those movies, but you definitely will be. Talk about being central, you're a train ride away from virtually anywhere, and if you decide to fly out of the country for the weekend (because this is what happens when you study abroad), Aeropuerto de Roma-Fiumicino is just an hour away. If you're not afraid of seriously immersing yourself, go to Viterbo, go where the locals live, go to La Spaghetteria and try to eat one of their 300 pasta dishes, fill up your own bottle with wine for 2 Euros within the city walls, eat up the country's tastiest gelato (unashamed bias), learn about the history your living in and create your own story. I picked Viterbo and I'd pick it again. #studyingbutalsohavingfungoals #bringonthelizziemcguiremoments

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

I'm still dreaming of L'antica Latteria

I'm quite convinced there is no better location for an authentic Italian experience abroad than within the medieval walls of Viterbo. This program is a dream--culturally immersive, excellent for language acquisition, comfortable living arrangements, broad academic opportunities, excellent on-site staff, gelato to drool over and once-in-a-lifetime friendships that will stick with you forever. I am so grateful for my year in Viterbo and I wouldn't trade this experience for the world. If you're looking for an authentic Italian experience, USAC Viterbo is the location for you. With just a short train ride to the airport in Rome it is an ideal location to not only experience the best of Italy, but also to access the rest of Europe as well. Every day in this city is a dream.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

You can't go wrong with this city.

How do you write a review about the city and the experience that changed your entire life? There is too much to say! I guess I can start with after living in Viterbo for 9 months through the USAC year-long program (Fall 2015 - Spring 2016), I've returned two separate times (a couple weeks in the summer and then three more months the following year) and still lived an entirely different, yet beautiful experience. I've seen and felt different things every time. The city just seems to always surprise you with history you never knew, people you never thought you'd meet, and a life you'd never thought you'd have. I hate to repeat someone else's words that I read in another review, but I couldn't agree more that Viterbo "is Italian culture at its finest"!

1. If you want a pure, authentic, historical, antique and unique experience, Viterbo is for you.

2. If you tend to enjoy wandering random cobblestone roads, but don't want to feel too lost like you would in a big metropolitan city, Viterbo is for you.

4. Food? You've got it. Viterbo seemed to always have the freshest, local, and most delicious produce.

3. Ti piace parlare la lingua? Vorresti imparare la lingua Italiana abbastanza veloce? Viterbo is for you.

5. Interested in the locals? Viterbese and the Italian students are extremely friendly and willing to speak to you. It may seem intimidating at first speaking with an Italian, but believe me when I say they have good intentions to be your friend and have fun.

... and the list goes on and on!

I couldn't have asked more from my experience with USAC. Of course we have to be honest and say some things could have been more thought out or I couldn't give a rating a 10/10 to this one particular area because of this one thing that happened. Yet, anything that deterred me from having a 10/10 experience and gave me a 9/10 experience doesn't matter. Like my one crazy Italian neighbor that lived under my apartment who never let me forget that our tiptoeing around the house was obnoxious to her, she does not outweigh the wonderful boarding experience I acquired. I had plenty of other Italian neighbors that made my stay worth while.

The thing about living in a small Italian city however is that you must learn to adapt. You're not in Rome where there is access to a 24 hour Faramcia (pharmacy) either on the other side of town or down a few blocks. You must be prepared and accept the way of life there.

A few more words to praise USAC: I owe them everything. I think many people would agree that the staff in Viterbo went above and beyond to help us with things that were just completely unfamiliar and out of reach. Like going to the doctor; what to say, where to go, what to get or reporting something to the police, or the best way to travel to Siena for a day trip. Although some would say they could have done more with some people's living situations because they either had nightmare-roommates or nightmare-neighbors, again, there is only so much they can do for you. It's up to us to adapt, accept, and acknowledge that we're living in a completely different world and lifestyle.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

USAC in Viterbo = LOVE!

There is no better place to immerse yourself in Italian culture, art and history than the sweet, medieval city of Viterbo. The USAC program there is top-notch. The academics are just right, there are many rich excursions, the restaurants are fantastic, the shopping is fun, the gelato is WORLD CLASS. Go!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

The Best of Italy

I chose USAC because they were the easiest and cheapest option for me. I chose the USAC Viterbo Italy program because I always wanted to live in Italy, but I wanted to live in a city where I could experience more than a regular tourist would. This was something that I found living in the small town of Viterbo. Viterbo also had so many positive experiences to offer. Some of my favorite experiences were the various festivals that take place in Viterbo. For example, for a week in late June, Viterbo has a festival called Ludiko. Ludiko is a medieval festival, which takes place in the medieval section of town. There are costumes, games, booths, and performances, that are all medieval themed.
I also really loved the USAC staff abroad, who were always so willing to help you on anything from travel plans to immersion opportunities. They even were able to set me up with a language partner, who I was able to practice my Italian with. Study abroad is extremely beneficial in helping you grow and learn more about yourself. Study abroad forces you to learn valuable skills, like communication, patience, and flexibility. It also makes you take a good look at yourself; something that helped me decide what I wanted to do with the rest of my college career and beyond.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    9

The best place to study abroad in Italy PERIOD!

This world holds many beauties and Viterbo is definately one of them. It's perfectly located close enough and far enough to get everything that you need. It has a great college scene, you can head to Rome and fly anywhere around Europe, and you are centrally located making it easier to travel up north or down south if you'd like, or even take a ferry to Sardegna. You get a real Italian experience not a typical english speaking, all american, tourist trap you'd find in Florence and Rome that's for sure.

BEST EXPERIENCE OF MY LIFE!

Academics:
Courses were great and professors where knowledgeable. Although other students complained about thick accents. They knew their stuff.

Living Situation:
My apartment along with other student housing was so cute. They are not American so don't expect big kitchens or a dryer, but balconies or terraces over looking this beautiful midieval city.

Cultural Immersion:
You become part of a lively community. That is if you want. Going into little shops and getting groceries is an expereince, and because most people know eachother there the store, cafe, and pizzeria owners like to know who you are. I definately had some interesting dialogue with many of the owners. Especially Pizza DJ I love him and Riccardo at Cafe San Sisto (best cafe in town btw).

Program Administration:
They became your family. Stefano and Frankie where like my mom and dad. They really had it put together to make sure our study abroad experience was the best it could possibly be.

Health and Safety:
Yes Italian men are creepy (not dangerous), but I never feared for my safety.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health & Safety

    8

  • Community

    8

An Ongoing Adventure

I would recommend this program to anyone interested in studying abroad in Italy. You really get the opportunity to immerse yourself in Italy's unique culture, society, language, and history through various field trips and events in Viterbo, which is itself an amazing place to live. (It's really incredible to live inside a walled city that has been around much longer than my country has existed.) Living in Viterbo also really gives you the opportunity to expose yourself to a truly Italian experience away from the influence of mass tourism in larger city centers like Rome or Florence. The continual support from the program coordinators relieves a lot of the stress that comes with living in a foreign country. The USAC teachers and students themselves are friendly and invested in providing and having a great experience. There are plenty of economical opportunities to travel throughout Italy and the rest of Europe. Overall, the program and the people you meet are amazing and have an enduring and meaningful impact on your experience abroad.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    6

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    6

  • Health & Safety

    8

  • Community

    8

Last semester of college abroad

Viterbo is a great city to study abroad in because it is filled with friendly locals. The town is small enough that people will know you are American and will be very patient as you try to use your new Italian skills. The program did a great job of showing students around town. The orientation was great. The classes were very easy but you definitely learn enough in the Italian courses.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    9

Viterbo

Viterbo is all about Italian culture. Each night around 5, people walk the streets with gelato in hand. The nightlife is huge there, as well- Viterbo has a very young population with lots to do. The coffee is amazing, and so is the atmosphere- the shops are run by the owners. In any given street, you could pick up meat, cheese, pastries, gelato, pizza or sit down at a restaurant, and it would all be the best food you've ever had. Viterbo is Italian culture at its finest.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

The best Italian experience you could hope for.

You would be hard pressed to find a better place in Italy to study abroad. Viterbo is so beautiful and so welcoming, plus it is an easy train ride away from Rome. Traveling from Viterbo was simple and relatively low stress. The office staff for USAC was super friendly and always willing to help. All the Italian college students are really excited to have us there, and we all hung out together at Lucio's (one of the awesome bars in Viterbo). The classes are taught in English, but you really get a chance to practice your Italian in this town; most people in town don't speak English, though almost everyone on campus does. The field trips were so much fun, and definitely worth the time and a few early mornings.

Going to Viterbo was one of the best decisions I've ever made, and I made friends in this program that will last a life time. I already can't wait to go back. It was a life changing experience that I think everyone should take advantage of!

Academics:
The classes felt a little easier than the classes at my home university.

Living Situation:
I was the only student to live with a host mom-- and she was great, but I lived alone with her, pretty far from the other students, so I felt a little isolated. I would have prefered to have a roommate.

Cultural Immersion:
Viterbo is wonderful. Most of the shopkeepers and restaurant proprietors don't speak English, though most of the young people do. The city is beautiful, and the location is perfect Italy. I really got a chance to practice my Italian, and everyone was really nice about it.

Health and Safety:
I never ever felt unsafe walking in Viterbo, even walking home from the bars at 2:30 in the morning. It was really nice.