With a lofty nickname like the “Eternal City,” you have to figure Rome is an impressive place. Founded nearly 3,000 years ago and having served at center stage of the Roman Empire, Catholic Church, and now the Italian Republic, the city has enjoyed an enduring position of global influence throughout history (and this is to speak nothing of the tremendous food, art, and culture which continue to contribute to that prestige). Embarking to study abroad in Rome will be the beginning of a grand adventure in one of the most storied capitals of the world; are you ready to begin the journey?
Subjects & Courses
There are generally two main paths you can take to study abroad in Rome. The first is to enroll in courses at a major Italian university, such as the Sapienza University of Rome or the University of Rome Tor Vergata. While most classes are taught in Italian at these local institutions, there are usually some English-taught course options available as well, to accommodate for international students who are not adept in the language.
Another option is to study abroad in Rome at a smaller satellite school or foreign university, where classes are taught in English and designed for a global student demographic. John Cabot University and the American University of Rome are two examples of these such schools, where you can benefit from an education tailored to fellow international students.
Regardless of where you decide to study abroad in Rome, some of the most popular subject areas for international students in the city tend to be in fields such as history, architecture, fashion, political science, and international business. These are just a few examples of popular subjects among international students, and of course you will have the opportunity to choose from a wide range of academic subjects. Enrolling in an Italian language course certainly won’t hurt, either!
Life in Rome
There is good reason why so many international students choose to study abroad in Rome. In what other city in the world can you spend an afternoon casually strolling the streets, stopping in for an espresso or gelato on any corner, stumbling across a temple or monument that is literally thousands of years old, visiting a world-class museum or artisan shop, and then capping it all off with some of the best food you will ever eat and a lively night on the town?
One shouldn’t romanticize too much perhaps, but you get the drift; Rome is a magical place. It is also very diverse and a highly regarded global city, meaning that you will have the pleasure of interacting with fellow international students and travellers from all over the world while you study abroad in Rome. Throw in a metro system that will conveniently transport you around this metropolis of 4.5 million citizens, and you’re ready to begin exploring.
Because Rome is multicultural and a popular travel destination, it’s easy to get by there even without speaking Italian. However you will find that many Italians, especially the older generations, may not speak English very well either. If you want a truly immersive experience, making the effort to learn as much of the local language as possible is the best way to go while you study abroad in Rome.
Scholarships & Costs
Rome isn’t cheap. Being one of the most widely visited travel destinations in the world, vendors can afford to crank up the prices in many hotspots around the city. The trick is to stay away from the tourist traps, find your local digs, and be wise with the money you spend. If general costs of living and tuition fees to study abroad in Rome are a concern, then be sure to check out our Scholarship Directory to learn more about financial aid opportunities available throughout Italy.
Accommodation & Visas
You will typically have the option to choose from a few different housing options while you study abroad in Rome. Homestays are one popular option, giving you the exclusive opportunity to immerse yourself in Italian family life (and enjoy some great home-cooked meals no less). Student dormitories and off-campus apartments are also offered by many study abroad programs in Rome, which can be a good choice if you want more individual freedom.
Unless you are coming from within the European Union, then you will usually have to apply for a student visa as well in order to study abroad in Rome. Your study abroad program or host school will endorse you throughout this process, but it’s best to get that ball rolling early anyway (the Italian bureaucracy can be notoriously slow). For more information on Italy’s visa policies toward your home country, check out our Embassy Directory.
Benefits & Challenges
Eternal City. For nearly 3,000 years, Rome has found a way to stay significant on the world stage. Today it is a top-ranked global city with one of the best-preserved histories on the planet, a testament to its timelessness.
Cultural Center. If you’re interested in art, architecture, fashion, food, music, film, or any of the above, then you’ve come to the right place. Be prepared to ingest a dose of high civilization while you study abroad in Rome.
Digging Deep. As an international student living in the city, you will wary of the more touristy areas quickly while you study abroad in Rome. Use this as an opportunity to explore as much of the city as possible; every day is a new day!
Enrolling in a study abroad program in Rome is just the beginning of what will turn into a grand global adventure. Be outgoing, adventurous, and perpetually curious, and the Eternal City will not disappoint.