The Catholic University of America

Mathilda Chanakira
- CUA in Rome

Top Five Reasons to Select the Program

  1. Rome is such a beautiful city! It's completely different from other places in the world in terms of culture, language, and history.
  2. The CUA Rome program is CUA's program. All of the courses taken transfer to your transcript, which is great because the courses are not difficult.
  3. This program lets you chose between living in a home stay or staying in a dorm with other students. I chose the dorm option because I wasn't very comfortable with my Italian skills.
  4. There is so much history in Rome, and most of our classes were site visits and were not in the class room. It was very rare that we had class in our classrooms.
  5. The shopping was great! Especially in the Spring because the "Saldi" was going on, which means sale and all stores were 50-75% off!


What I Wish I Would Have Known Before I Went

  1. Bring an umbrella and rain boots, you will need them!
  2. Don't pack too many toiletries, unless you absolutely need them. BILLA, which is a grocery store close to the school, has a lot of toiletries, Dove, Herbal Essences, etc...
  3. Romans don't wear color, they wear all black! I had a pair of bright red Dr. Martens and everyone would stare at my feet when I walked.
  4. Bring school supplies, they can be quite pricey.
  5. Bring hair relaxer, it is nowhere to be found, and I had to wait until Spring Break to buy it in London.


A Funny Story or Situation

My entire study abroad experience consisted of funny stories.  One morning I was walking down the street from the grocery store as usual. I looked to my left and there was a guy in his car staring at me. He stared so hard that he didn't see the car in front of him and he hit it head on. I was so embarrassed that I sprinted back to the dorms (I have no idea why I sprinted).


An Embarrassing Situation

I went to lunch with one of my Roman friends, and after lunch I asked the waiter for a cappuccino. He looked at me as if I was crazy and laughed in my face, and then walked away. When he left my friend told me that cappuccinos were only for breakfast.


Teaching Staff

The teachers were great! The classroom lectures were rarely taught in the classroom, we had a lot of site visits. We visited places such as the Coliseum, the Roman Forum, the Vatican, and many other historic places, it was great! By the end of the semester I was actually tired of the Roman Forum and the Coliseum because I had been there so many times.



The housing was pretty good. I chose to stay in the dorms. We shared the dorms with St. Johns students and I made a lot of friends from St. Johns. We went to Mass together, and I also joined them during their community service projects. Sometimes I wished I chose a homestay because the other students who had homestays improved in their Italian and formed great bonds with their homestays; they experienced the full Italian immersion. However, I was happy with my choice because us dorm students did not have to travel to go to class, we just had to walk downstairs.

Student Profile:

Major: Pyschology

Minor: Biology

Hometown: Germantown, Maryland

Program: CUA in Rome

Term Abroad: Spring 2013

Contact Mathilda