Bordered to the north by Tuscany and the south by the metropolitan area of Rome, Viterbo is a medieval city boasting of historical, artistic and monumental legacies. At the same time, it offers plenty of social and recreational opportunities. With a lively university community and active art scene, Viterbo is a bustling modern town located approximately one and half hours from Rome and Florence, with easy connections to the Mediterranean and Mountain regions.
The Viterbo program is ideal for students interested in studying Italian, History, Art, Journalism, or Environmental Studies. The city provides students with an exciting setting to study and practice the Italian language and to experience its rich culture away from English-speaking tourist areas.
The summer Viterbo program offers two, four-week sessions. Each includes an optional four-day visit of southern Italy. You may participate in one or both of the sessions. This program is ideal for those unable to participate in semester or year-long programs.
1. Attend classes at the Tuscia University of Viterbo, where you will fully integrate into student life.
2. Gain a cross-cultural perspective on Italy and its culture while learning from Italian and American professors.
3. Enjoy easy access to Rome, Florence, and Mediterranean regions from Viterbo.
4. Experience shopping in outdoor markets where you will find everything, from fresh farm produce to houseware items.
5. Sample Viterbo cuisine, including Lombrichelli alla viterbese (pasta made to look like worms) and Acquacotta (traditional Tuscan soup).
My study abroad experience started out a little rocky, because I arrived in January and it snowed more than it had in Italy since WWII. Needless to say, Italy was unprepared for the volume of snow, and everything was shut down for almost two weeks. No school, no trains, no busses, no businesses. Nothing. That was a little rough, but as soon as the snow melted, we were back up and running. I absolutely recommend studying in Viterbo. It is a beautiful little medieval walled city, with a decent nightlife and interesting things to do, but it is also SAFE. I never once felt at all threatened or nervous walking alone, even at night. The townspeople are warm and welcoming, the food is fabulous, and the feeling of immersion really can't be beaten. I loved living in Viterbo, and go back to visit every time I go to Italy now that I've graduated from University. I miss it there, and I have nothing but fond memories of my time there.
Incidentally, I also met my best friend there. I studied abroad in 2012, and met a girl from Ohio, I never would have otherwise met, since I attended college in Nevada. We have flown back and forth to see each other six times now, and we even went on a trip to Italy together when she finished graduate school. I have also gone to two weddings of girls I studied abroad with - one in Southern California, and one in Ohio (a different girl!). I made some truly wonderful friends in Viterbo, with people I never would have met otherwise.
If studying abroad is at all an option for you, make it happen. You won't regret it.
Great experience. Learned so much in the most beautiful country. Small town, so it helped Italian language development. Apartment living was great, but t would have been nice to live closer to city center. Orientation was helpful and organized. Field trips were a lot of fun and explored many locations with knowledgeable tour guides.
The expression "boh" is one that is used frequently by the Italians. It is used when someone is unsure of something, it also simultaneously means ‘I don’t know” and is the equivalent of the American “Idk”. This is exactly how I felt when I was trying to pick a study abroad program. I was unsure of where I wanted to go, what I wanted to my studies to focus on, etc. I was going into my fall semester of my senior year and I wanted my last year of college to start off with a bang. I didn’t know where I wanted to study overseas, all I knew is that I wanted to discover somewhere new. One day, I stood outside of my adviser's office and flipped a coin to help me come to a decision because that’s how indecisive I was. I was stuck between learning Portuguese and going to Brazil or learning Italian and going to Italy. The coin landed on heads, so I went into my adviser's office, declared an Italian minor and began the process to study in Italy.
I wanted to be sure I had all the necessary information I needed to study abroad. I visited the study abroad office and after a meeting with the study abroad advisor there, I printed out a list of all the possible universities that I could study in. I first went through the list of about 30 different options and weeded out the programs that didn’t offer classes that could apply to my major, Journalism and Media Communication. Then I looked at my budget; luckily, I was on a full ride scholarship and they offered to pay my expenses but gave me a budget. I crossed off the schools that I essentially couldn’t ‘afford’ to go to. That left me with about 10 different options, which was still a lot. I then researched locations, got into the logistics of each university and the touristic benefits of living in each city. Would I go North to Milan, Verona, Reggio Emilio? Or did I prefer more South like Rome or Florence? I couldn’t decide, but I knew I didn’t want to be in a big city. Through my research I ran across the small medieval city, Viterbo. After doing some quick research, I was immediately intrigued by the uniqueness of the city and the potential community I could build there. And wouldn’t you know, it was the only city that offered all the credits I needed to complete my Italian minor. Was this a match made in heaven? Indeed, it was.
I often like to recall all the steps that brought me to choosing Viterbo as my study abroad destination because it was one of the best decisions of my life, even with all the uncertainty and nervousness I had about leaving the US for the first time. Everything about my experience in that small town was amazing and life changing; the people, the community, the way the locals talk to you with care, the food and the culture around food, the places I explored, the new things that I learned and the thing that I am especially grateful for, were the friends I made there. What incredible journey I was a part of, and if I could go back and do it all again, I would do it in a heartbeat. Viterbo will always, and still does, hold a special place in my heart.
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
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.
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.
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.
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!