Rome Trevi Founntain

Welcome to the GO Rome Accepted Student Information page!  Navigate the tabs below for everything you need to know before your epic adventure!

To navigate back to your portal for payments, forms and due dates, click the My Account button above.

Stay Informed

Click here for the pre-departure master checklist!

Stay on track for your summer adventure with the pre-departure checklist.  Print it out, share with your parents and cross off items as you complete them.  Please note some items may only apply to specific locations, and this is noted where applicable.

Flights

Are flights included in the program fee?

International airfare is not included in your program fee.  You have several options when booking flights:

  • Purchase a group flight ticket from LeadAbroad
  • Book your own ticket that is on the same itinerary as the official group flight (this is a great option if you prefer to use points and/or miles to book airfare)
  • Book your own flights on any itinerary that is most convenient for you (be sure to note your arrival/departure dates and times as this may affect your airport transfer)

All flight details can be found in the flights section below!

Can I buy a one-way group flight ticket from LeadAbroad?

Group flight booking policies from the airlines only allow roundtrip tickets with the confirmed group itinerary.  If you have other travel plans, we recommend booking the same flight as the group on your own.  All itineraries can be found in the flights section below.  Use this information for booking flights on your own.

I purchased a group flight ticket from LeadAbroad. Do I need to book any other flights?

Your LeadAbroad group flight ticket includes a roundtrip itinerary between JFK and Rome (FCO).  All students are responsible for their own booking between their hometown and JFK airport in New York, this year’s group flight departure city.  We strongly recommend landing into the group flight airport at least four hours before your international flight departs.  Additionally, we recommend booking your hometown itinerary on the same airline as the group flight.  When you check-in for your very first flight, this will allow the airline representative to combine your ticket with the one LeadAbroad purchased for you.  Your bags will be tagged with FCO, so you won’t have to pick them up again in JFK before the group flight departs.

If you live within driving distance of JFK airport and plan to drive to the airport before catching the group flight, be sure to note this on your flight form in the portal.  We strongly recommend you arrive to the airport at least four hours before departure.

When will I get my group flight confirmation? Can I upgrade my ticket or request a different seat?

All students who register for the group flight through LeadAbroad will receive an email confirmation with ticket details approximately 30 days before departure.  Once details are sent, you can alter your seat assignment by looking up your ticket number on the carrier website.  LeadAbroad cannot accommodate seat/class requests during the initial group booking.

Will LeadAbroad staff be on my flight?

Since our staff will already be abroad preparing for your arrival, we will not have any staff at the departure airport or on flights to Rome.  However, a student will be taking attendance at the gate and helping students connect with each other before the flight.  Should you have questions or problems with your flight, we strongly recommend you speak with an airline representative at the airport as they will be able to assist.  Our on-call, U.S. based staff is available for any itinerary changes that will impact your arrival.

Can I cancel my group flight ticket after purchasing from LeadAbroad?

Group flight tickets are non-refundable.

I am not arriving on the group flight. Will someone meet me at the airport in Rome?

If you arrive on the official start date and within the group’s landing time (usually about one hour BEFORE the group flight lands), we will meet you at the airport and provide transportation to the hotel.  If your scheduled arrival is anytime AFTER the group is scheduled you land, you must book and pay for your own transportation to the hotel.  We will reach out if this applies to you and assist in arranging this transportation.

What happens if I miss my flight or it is canceled/delayed?

  • Step 1: Do not stress. These things happen!
  • Step 2: Work with an airline rep at the airport to be rebooked.
  • Step 3: As soon as you have a new itinerary, complete the new flight plan form linked in your pre-departure newsletter.  We will be in touch to confirm any details.

Packing

Where can I find a packing list?

Click here to jump down to the packing section of this page for all the details!

Do I have to bring my laptop?

Yes.  You will submit some assignments electronically, so it’s important you have a laptop to complete your work.

Should I pack sheets/linens/towels/hangers?

No, our dorm provides all of the above.  However, it’s always a good idea to pack an extra beach towel or quick-drying travel towel.

Academics

How will my classes transfer back to my home university?

Every school has different procedures and requirements for transfer credits.  The first step in the process is often meeting with your academic advisor with the course syllabi.  Be sure to do this as soon as possible.  More details can be found in the transfer credits section below!

When will I know my final grades?

Final grades will be submitted to Oglethorpe University in mid to late August.  For any questions related to the academic component of the program, please reach out directly to your professor.

When will I receive a transcript for my classes this summer? Do I have to send it to my school?

Transcripts are issued by Oglethorpe University in late August.  OU will send your transcript automatically to the institution on your record.  If you’ve transferred to a new school for the fall semester, please notify us by emailing info@LeadAbroad.com.

Budgeting & Finances

Are meals included?

Your program fee includes a welcome dinner and a final dinner.  All other meals are your responsibility.

How much spending money should I budget for the trip?

Click here for a budgeting worksheet.  You should have a realistic conversation with your parents in the application process to discuss spending habits and budgeting while you are abroad.  While spending can vary widely, LeadAbroad recommends $40/day as a baseline budget for meals and incidentals.

Should I bring U.S. cash? Debit cards? Credit cards?

LeadAbroad strongly recommends you bring two ways to access money: a debit card for ATM withdrawals and a credit card as a backup.  We do not recommend exchanging U.S. dollars for local currency as it is very difficult to find a place to exchange and the exchange rate is typically better when you withdraw from an ATM.  You should plan on getting cash out an ATM once you arrive.

Health & Safety

Is travel insurance included? What about health insurance?

LeadAbroad does not offer a travel insurance plan.  All students will be covered under LeadAbroad’s health insurance for the duration of the program.  Details can be found in the Health & Insurance section below.

Do I need shots before visiting Italy?

Review CDC guidelines for travelers to Italy here: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/itlay

No specific shots are required; however, LeadAbroad recommends visiting your family doctor before departure to ensure you are up to date on routine vaccines including Hepatitis A and MMR.

Can I bring my prescription medication to Italy?

If you pack prescription medication, be sure it is in the original prescription bottle. We also recommend researching the medication to better understand any restrictions in Italy. Your doctor will be a great resource in finding this information.

Pharmacies in Italy will not accept foreign prescriptions. If you anticipate needing a prescription refill while abroad, speak with your doctor about getting enough medication for the duration of your trip. Alternatively, our staff can assist with a local doctor’s visit to receive a local prescription.

Other FAQs

Do I need a visa to enter Italy?

U.S. citizens are not required to obtain a visa to visit Italy if you stay for 90 days or less.  When entering Italy, you will be considered a tourist and not a student since you are not enrolling in a foreign university.

If you are NOT a U.S. citizen, be sure to research entry requirements based on the country that issued your passport.  You may be required to obtain a visa.

For more information on visa and passport requirements, review the passports section below!

Can I use my cell phone abroad?

Yes!  We strongly recommend you contact your carrier to understand how international data works on your plan.  These plans tend to be expensive.  As an alternative, many students choose to buy a local SIM card upon arrival.  Your phone must be unlocked to use an international SIM card.  Contact your carrier to determine if your phone is unlocked.

When will I know my roommate assignment? Can I request a roommate change?

We can change roommates up to 30 days before departure.  Roommate requests are entered on the roommate form linked in your portal.  If you’ve already completed this form and would like to change your request, please email info@LeadAbroad.com.

Final roommates will be released 30 days before departure.  No changes can be made after this time.

Can I receive packages/mail while abroad?

General mail can be received at the dorm while you’re abroad; however, we strongly discourage the mailing of valuable packages (cameras, cell phones, medication, etc) to students while abroad. You will have to pay taxes on the item in order for it to clear customs, and it often takes many days for the process to be completed which delays delivery. Depending on what is being sent, the taxes may be very high (sometimes more than the value of the item itself).

What is the best way for friends/family to contact me while abroad?

Check out the Communication Abroad section below for details.  WiFi is also accessible in our dorms.

If there is an emergency in the U.S. and your family needs to contact LeadAbroad, please have them call our emergency response line at 404.720.5657 and dial extension 710.

This tab features a running series of announcements from the LeadAbroad team as you prepare for an incredible summer!  You can expect an update about once a month.  As we get closer to departure, updates will become more frequent.

 

November Newsletter – November 13, 2019


December Newsletter – 


January Newsletter – 


February Newsletter – 


March Newsletter – 


April Newsletter – 


60 Days to Departure Newsletter – 


45 Days to Departure Newsletter – 


30 Days to Departure Newsletter – 


10 Days to Departure Newsletter –


1 Day to Departure Newsletter –

 

Connect with fellow students online!

  • GO Rome 2020 Facebook group
  • Follow us on Instagram and search the 5,000+ #LeadAbroadLife and @LeadAbroad tags
  • Have questions?  Send us an email at info@LeadAbroad.com or text 404.496.4095!

Get Ready to Take Off

To make a payment online, log in to your customer portal.

The GO Rome program fee is $3,900. Tuition for the six credits from Oglethorpe University is $3,400.  Please refer to your customer portal for your custom due dates based on when you were accepted to the program.  Further information on all payment policies can be found on our policy page.

Credit cards (Visa, MasterCard and Discover) are accepted for payment online; however, we do not accept American Express. Please remember that a 4% processing fee will be added to all credit card payments. Payment by eCheck is also accepted. eCheck payments do not have a processing fee. Paper checks will not be accepted.

The LeadAbroad team will support you every step of the way when planning your flights!  Please review the sections below as well as the flights FAQ section above for information on the official group flight and tips for booking flights independently.

Important dates for GO Rome:

  • Saturday, June 27: All students depart the U.S. for Rome (FCO)
  • Sunday, June 28: All students arrive into Rome
  • Saturday, August 1: All students depart Rome for the U.S.

Students have several options for booking flights!  Please review the appropriate section below based on your flight booking preferences:

Register for LeadAbroad's official group flight

GO Rome Official Group Itinerary

Depart: June 27, 2020 (Arrives in Rome on June 28)

  • Depart JFK at 4:45pm on American Airlines #236 / Arrive in FCO at 7:15am (June 28)

Return: August 1, 2020

  • Depart FCO at 9:40am on American Airlines #235 / Arrive in JFK at 1:20pm

Group flight cost: $1,500
Early reservation deadline: December 31, 2019

Group flight booking steps:

  • Go to your portal and submit payment for the group flight (click Payments and scroll to the optional payments section).  This will save your seat on the itinerary above.
  • Book your roundtrip connecting itinerary to the group flight city before the trip and back home after the program:
    • Recommended arrival time into JFK before the group flight: 12:45pm on June 27th
    • Recommended departure time leaving JFK after the group flight: 3:20pm on August 1st
    • We strongly recommend you book this ticket with American Airlines. This will allow you to check-in for your first flight at your hometown airport and check your bags all the way to Rome.  If you do not book with American, you must pick up your bags in JFK, check in with American and re-check your bags to Rome.
    • If you live nearby or will already be in NYC on departure day and plan to drive to the airport, we strongly recommend arriving no later than 2:45pm.  Three hours before departure will give you plenty of time to check-in, go through security and get settled at the gate.

Important notes about booking a group flight ticket through LeadAbroad:

  • Group flight tickets are non-refundable.
  • The group flight itinerary cannot be altered in any way.  All passengers must fly on the designated dates and between the designated cities.
  • Individual ticket numbers will be emailed to students about one month before departure.
  • LeadAbroad cannot book one-way group flight tickets.
  • LeadAbroad staff will not be on this flight as they will already be abroad preparing for your arrival!  We will nominate a student to take attendance at the departure gate.
  • We cannot accommodate seat requests before ticketing.  Once you receive your ticket, usually you can log in to the airline’s website to pick a seat.  You can also change your seat when checking in with the airline agent.

Book your own itinerary

We strongly recommend flying on the same itinerary as the group if you choose to book independently.  Please review the section above for the official group flight departing JFK.

If you book your own flights, please note the following:

  • Recommended arrival time into FCO: June 28th, no later than 7:30am
  • Recommended departure time leaving FCO: Aug 1st, 9:30am or later
  • If your flight times are not within our recommendations, you will be responsible for your own airport transportation

 

Tips for booking your own flights:

  • The average cost to fly to Rome is between $1400-$1800.  If you find a ticket within this range, that is a reasonable price.  If the cost is higher, you may want to wait and check prices a couple times a week for about two weeks.
  • Try to book a flight with no more than one or two layovers.  More than two layovers create a higher probability for lost luggage and missed flights.
  • Post your plans in the program GroupMe!  You can coordinate flights with other students who might be flying from your hometown.

Airport greeting and transfer information

Greeting students on arrival:

  • All students arriving on the group flight will be greeted at the airport.  For accommodations transfer information, please see below.

Group shuttle to the accommodations after arrival:

  • All students arriving on the group flight or on flights arriving before 7:30am will be on the group shuttle.
  • If you are scheduled to arrive on June 28th before the group lands, you can wait at the airport for the group shuttle or pay for your own transfer to the hotel.  LeadAbroad will assist you in arranging this transportation.

Group shuttle to the airport for departure back to U.S.:

  • Students with departing flights at 9:30am or later can take the shuttle to the airport
  • Any student departing earlier than 9:30am on August 1st will need to pay for their own transfer.  LeadAbroad will assist in booking this transportation.

In order to arrive in country rested and ready to go, consider the following tips to make your flight experience as enjoyable as possible:

  • Print ALL of your flight itineraries for the trip and have them easily accessible.
  • Do not start your trip stressed. GET TO THE AIRPORT EARLY. For most international flights, we recommend that you arrive at the airport at least three hours prior to departure.
  • Weigh your bags before you leave home. Check baggage size and weight restrictions for ALL AIRLINES you might be flying during the program.  Smaller budget airlines abroad usually have stricter baggage policies than the larger U.S.-based carriers.
  • Pack the following items in your carry-on.  If your checked baggage takes an adventure of its own, having these items with you will create less stress and allow for a more comfortable plane ride:
    • Two days worth of clothes
    • Medications/contacts
    • Laptop, cell phone, chargers, other electronics
    • Water bottle/Nalgene
    • Headphones/earbuds
    • Blindfold and ear plugs if you are sensitive to light/sound when trying to sleep on planes
    • Journal/books/Kindle/magazines
    • Program director’s phone number
    • Dorm address
  • Be comfortable on the plane. Dress in layers so that you can easily adapt to the temperature.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of fluid while in the air. It is easy to become dehydrated when flying.
  • Know where your passport is at all times. When checking in at the airport, you will have to get your passport in and out of your bag several times; at each stop, be sure to take a moment for a passport check.
  • Reset your watch. As soon as you board the plane, reset your watch to the local time and try to get on a sleeping pattern that is consistent with your destination. Most students traveling will be on an overnight flight and you will be very grateful if you sleep. Also, remember that if you have to take medications at a certain time during the day or at the same time everyday you might need to adapt this prior to departure.
  • Make special meal requests if necessary. If you have any special requests, be sure to contact the airline at least 72 hours prior to departure.
  • Make sure you have a pen for any immigration forms.  Flight attendants usually distribute arrival forms shortly after take-off.  On these forms, note that you are a tourist, not a student.

To apply for a U.S. passport, click here.  If you are not a U.S. citizen, be sure to thoroughly research passport and visa requirements for citizens of your home country.

If you already have a U.S. passport, check to confirm the following:

  • the expiration date is February 2020 or beyond
  • the passport has at least two blank pages
  • Your name is spelled correctly

If your passport does not have all requirements above, you must renew your passport before traveling abroad.

All students are required to submit passport information via the passport form in the LeadAbroad portal 60 days before departure.  Please do not submit a passport that is expired or in the process of being renewed.  When your new passport arrives, you can then submit your form.

For more information on documents for travel, visit the Department of State passport website or their Students Abroad section.

Students are REQUIRED to watch all LeadAbroad orientations and submit corresponding forms in the online portal.  Videos and due dates are linked below.

Pre-Departure Orientation: All Programs

  • Due date: 60 days before departure
  • Form to submit in your portal by due date: Pre-Departure Form
  • For a slides-only version, click here!

Pre-Departure Orientation: GO Rome Specific

  • Due date: 30 days before departure
  • Form to submit in your portal by due date: Orientation: Program-Specific Form
  • For a slides-only version, click here!

To ensure we have the tools to support you before and during the program, we have several short forms that must be completed 60 days before departure.  Please access your customer portal for all required forms and due dates.

Click here to view the Rome packing list!

The most important thing to remember when packing for Rome is that summers get VERY warm.  Pack light, comfortable clothing and durable walking shoes.

Do not overpack.  As a general rule, do not bring more bags than you can carry yourself.  Most students can pack all their things in a larger checked bag, one carry-on and small backpack/daypack. CHECK YOUR AIRLINE’S BAGGAGE POLICIES.  Some airlines have carry-on restrictions and charge fees for extra checked bags and overweight luggage.

If you are taking Italian Renaissance Art History this summer, plan to pack a hat, sunscreen, comfortable walking shoes and a large water bottle to carry on your tours.

Applications are posted in your portal under Optional Forms.  DUE DATE: April 5th!

What are program leaders?
On the LeadAbroad team, the program staff are the coaches and program leaders are the team captains – they set the tone and encourage other students by creating a strong sense of community through service projects, social outings, group chats and creative stories. They are the peer leaders who step up when needed and make other students feel included. Whether you’re joining us on GO, LEAD, DIRECT or PRO, our program leaders will help make your experience abroad impactful and lasting.

Why should I apply?
The more you put in, the more you get out. That’s why we have two awesome leadership opportunities on your program abroad. Whether you are your squad’s go to party planner, you’re passionate about giving back or you’re a wizard with video editing, we’d love to invest in you and your talents!

We have two types of program leaders on GO, so there are multiple ways to plug in on the ground.

Community Leader (apply online through your portal): Are you a leader on campus or interested in becoming one in the future? Do you feel like you’re the “ringleader” of your crew & want to take your skills abroad? Our Community Leader (CL) program is an awesome way to make the most of your summer experience with leadership 101 training, resume boosts and serving as a peer leader on the program. CLs will experience an extra level of investment from our staff (and fun invites), opportunities for social media highlights and a connection with other like-minded students on the program.

Media Leader (apply online through your portal): “If its not on camera, it didn’t happen” is your mantra. Are you someone who makes videos for every trip you go on? Do you have a “fancy” camera for special events or have an interest in photography? Are you already planning out your end-of-program video or following local photographers on Instagram? Sign up to be a media leader & put your skills to use!

Ready to dive into this leadership role?  Apply in your portal before the deadline!

Get Ready for Class

You have the opportunity to select two courses offered on GO Rome. Successful completion of these two courses will earn students six credit hours from Oglethorpe University. All students participate in four hours of class time Monday through Thursday.

During the application process, you selected your top four course selections and were placed in courses according to your acceptance date and course capacity. You will receive an email notifying you which classes you have received shortly after acceptance.

PLEASE NOTE: Class will be held Friday, July 31st on a Monday schedule

Monday

  • 8:30-10:30am
    • COM 220 Intercultural Communication
    • BUS 375 International Marketing
  • 10:45am-12:45pm
    • COM 280 Gender, Culture & Communications
    • INT 290 Italy Through Food
  • 1:00-3:00pm
    • BUS 370 International Business
  • 1:00-5:00pm
    • ART 300 Italian Renaissance Art History A
    • ART 290 Photography

Tuesday

  • 8:30-10:30am
    • COM 220 Intercultural Communication
    • BUS 375 International Marketing
  • 10:45am-12:45pm
    • COM 280 Gender, Culture & Communications
    • INT 290 Italy Through Food
  • 2:00-4:00pm
    • BUS 370 International Business
  • 2:00-6:00pm
    • ART 300 Italian Renaissance Art History B

Wednesday

  • 8:30-10:30am
    • COM 220 Intercultural Communication
    • BUS 375 International Marketing
  • 10:45am-12:45pm
    • COM 280 Gender, Culture & Communications
    • INT 290 Italy Through Food
  • 1:00-3:00pm
    • BUS 370 International Business
  • 1:00-5:00pm
    • ART 300 Italian Renaissance Art History A
    • ART 290 Photography

Thursday

  • 8:30-10:30am
    • COM 220 Intercultural Communication
    • BUS 375 International Marketing
  • 10:45am-12:45pm
    • COM 280 Gender, Culture & Communications
    • INT 290 Italy Through Food
  • 1:00-3:00pm
    • BUS 370 International Business
  • 1:00-5:00pm
    • ART 300 Italian Renaissance Art History B

On Tuesdays, all students will attend TLC (Tuesday Lunch Club) from 12:45-1:45pm.  Lunch will be provided!

You are required to bring all necessary course textbooks with you to Rome.  All required texts are listed on the course syllabi posted above.  Please purchase the same edition of the book that is listed on the specific syllabus.  All books are easy to find on Amazon.com or other online retailers.

Students accepted into a LeadAbroad program are also simultaneously accepted into Oglethorpe University as transient students. Students are required to participate in all program and curriculum activities during the program unless they are granted an exemption by staff due to a physical or emotional reason.  Oglethorpe University students follow the same process as transient students when participating on a LeadAbroad program.

Many universities across the country accept Oglethorpe University transfer credit; however, it is ultimately the student’s responsibility to find out how the course credit transfers to your home institution. Every university has a unique process for accepting transient credit. Please schedule a meeting with your academic advisor and the study abroad office as soon as possible to understand your school’s requirements. These steps MUST be completed prior to departure. LeadAbroad does not guarantee credit transfer to any particular university or major.

If you plan to use any scholarships or financial aid, please submit this information on the Financial Aid & Scholarships form in your online portal under optional forms.

The HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarships may be available for students who are permanent Georgia residents, attend a university in Georgia and meet eligibility requirements.  You should meet with your financial aid office in order to determine if this scholarship will apply to a LeadAbroad summer study abroad program.

For students who qualify, the HOPE Scholarship amount is $1,014 and the Zell Miller Scholarship is $1,120. You should confirm these amounts and your eligibility with your home institution’s financial aid office.

We understand that studying abroad is a family decision with significant costs. We recommend that you explore a variety of options to finance your study abroad experience. You can find scholarships by reaching out to the financial aid office at your home university, non-profits and writing letters to companies in their hometowns.

LeadAbroad offers a number of scholarships. Please review these scholarships to check your eligibility here.

All LeadAbroad programs are inclusive and respectful of the needs, backgrounds and experiences of all its participants. Our policies can be found here.  If you have an accommodations request, please complete the Disability Accommodations Request form in your customer portal.

In-Country Details

Sophie Leopold

Sophie Leopold – Program Director

Sophie spends the school year traveling across the country to meet students excited about going abroad and loves connecting with past LeadAbroad students! This will be Sophie’s fourth summer on the international leadership team. She has led programs in Cape Town, Greece and London and is thrilled to spend summer 2019 with students on LEAD Greece and GO Rome!

Cali Brutz

Cali Brutz – Business Professor

Cali Brutz is a serial entrepreneur and educator who holds a law degree from the University of Virginia. With 10+ years of entrepreneurial experience as a founder shaking up the bridal industry, she now teaches at the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business and serves as the Associate Director of the UGA Entrepreneurship Program.

When Cali is not in the classroom or dreaming up her own next big idea, you’ll likely find her on the back of a horse or attending approximately 34 pretend tea parties per day with her toddler and infant daughters (pretend cupcakes included).

Childhood ambition: Equine veterinarian
Favorite YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mh4f9AYRCZY (Children Interrupt BBC Interview)
Song from life soundtrack: Vienna by Billy Joel
Life Hashtag:#DontFearthePivot

Jeffery Collins

Dr. Jeffrey Collins – Art History Professor

Coming soon!

Dr. Amanda Printz

Dr. Amanda Printz Whooley – Philosophy Professor

From Printz: “I am a Philosophy professor at Oglethorpe University; The (current) song on my life soundtrack would be “Home” by Philip Phillips; my childhood ambition was to be a a justice on the Supreme Court; my favorite youtube videos are of “Animal Fails”; and my life hashtag would be #expand”

Katharine Zakos

Dr. Katharine Zakos – Communications Professor

Coming soon!

Peri Block

Peri Block – Assistant Program Director

From Peri: “My name is Peri and I am currently a senior at LSU (Geaux Tigers)! I would definitely need Wide Open Spaces by the Dixie Chicks to be on my life soundtrack. It is my ANTHEM. My childhood ambition was to be like Ellen DeGeneres which is SO funny considering I was super shy as a child. My favorite YouTube video is “Ellen’s favorite Moments with Noah Ritter” and my life hashtag is #PrioritizeJoy.”

Olivia Dooley

Olivia Dooley – Assistant Program Director

From Olivia: “I am graduating this May from the University of Georgia and I live and breathe UGA football. You can find me always bringing it back to the old school hits – Earth, Wind, and Fire is my jam. I’m a lover of fresh flowers and all things chocolate.”

Sara Smith

Sara Smith – Assistant Program Director

From Sara: “I am graduating from Auburn University in Elementary Education this May. I am from way down the bayou in Houma, Louisiana. My life soundtrack song would definitely be Mambo No. 5 by Lou Bega even though I broke my knee pop, locking, and dropping to it. It’s a timeless hit. Favorite Youtube video is Kalen Reacts: European Fashion Show and any vine compilation. #ifnotyouthenwho #laissezlesbonstempsrouler (let the good times roll… cajun style)”

While in Rome, you will stay in the top-notch St. John’s University Rome campus.  Click here for a virtual tour!

St. John’s is in a great location in the Prati neighborhood and very close to the Lepanto metro line. It is also very close to the historical center so you can easily get to main sights like the Vatican, the Spanish Steps and Piazza Navona!  Check out their website here.

Make sure your luggage tag has the following address so the airline can connect you with your luggage if it gets lost en route:

St. John’s University
Rome Campus
Via Marcantonio Colonna, 21A
Rome, Italy 00192

Click here for roommate assignments

To request a roommate, please submit the roommate form in your online portal.  Roommate forms are due 60 days before departure.  Final housing assignments will be posted about one month before departure.  Once roommates are posted, we cannot make any changes.  If you’ve already submitted your roommate form but wish to make a change to your request, please email info@LeadAbroad.com no later than 60 days before departure.

Click here to see last year’s program schedule!

Please note: schedules and activities are tentative and subject to change.  We will update for summer 2020 throughout the spring semester.

We know that weekend travel is a highlight for students on study abroad, but everyone is looking for something different.  If you are the type of student who wants to see other places, but not plan it yourself, booking trips through 4.0 Tours is a great way to explore.  These excursions are exclusive to LeadAbroad students and will be facilitated by expert leaders from 4.0 Tours who will support our groups and run logistics.

Review excursions for Rome students below:

July 3-5:
Florence (included for all students!)

July 10-12:
Coming soon!

July 17-19:
Coming soon!

July 24-26:
Coming soon!

If you prefer to travel on your own, our staff will be available daily for weekend travel planning.  We encourage you to take advantage of our help to plan safe travel routes and find safe accommodations.

Frequently asked questions about weekend travel:

When do I sign up?
Spots are also first come, first serve.  Registration begins in March!

Do I need to book my own flight?
For trips that require a flight, yes, you are responsible for airfare.  IMPORTANT NOTE: do not book your flight until 4.0 Tours confirms the trip has reached the required number of participants.  We will email you a specific recommended itinerary!

I don’t know anyone else going.  Will I be with other students?
Yes!  The trips require a minimum number of LeadAbroad participants, so you will be with other students on each excursion.

Does anyone ever stay in town?
Yes!  Be sure to take advantage of everything your program city has to offer by staying in town one weekend or exploring between/after classes.

Can I miss class to travel?
No.  All excursions begin after class.  If you are traveling independently, you need to plan on departing once class is finished.

What else do I need to know?
Students are required to sign out before leaving town for the weekend.  You must communicate where you are going, who you are going with and when you are expected back.  This will give the program staff the information they need to support you while away.

Click here for a budget planning worksheet.

This worksheet will allow you to understand costs outside of the program fees and airfare.  Review this section in detail and email us at info@LeadAbroad.com with any further budgeting questions.

Before you leave, call your bank and credit card company to notify them that you will be traveling abroad. Give them the dates and countries of your itinerary, including any layovers and weekend travel destinations. Debit and credit cards can be blocked after transactions abroad because your bank may assume it is a fraudulent transaction. 

To access funds, debit cards are the best way to access cash overseas. ATM machines are widely available everywhere we travel. Debit cards with Visa, MasterCard, Cirrus or Plus signs are the most widely accepted. There may be a transaction fee for using ATMs abroad, therefore, it’s important to understand the fees associated with using your cards overseas. Keep a record of your debit card and pin numbers with someone at home.

Credit cards can be used similarly to debit cards at restaurants and shops abroad. Most major credit cards are honored abroad (i.e. MasterCard and Visa). Similarly to debit cards, credit card companies use the current exchange rate for your transaction. Call your credit card company to understand the fees charged per transaction.

We recommend that students do not bring large sums of US dollars with them to Italy. It is not convenient to exchange money and students typically get a poor exchange rate. Using your debit card is the best option. We recommend that students do not bring traveler’s checks. Most businesses will not accept them.

The program fees cover many of the costs of being in country, but you will need to provide additional funds for:

  • Meals: We will host a welcome and final dinner. All other meals are the responsibility of the student.
  • Incidentals: Internet, phone calls, transportation to non-program events
  • Free time: Independent evenings and additional outings
  • Weekend travel: All GO Rome students will travel to Florence for the first weekend. All other weekend trips are up to the student.
  • Gifts and souvenirs

Meals: One of the best aspects of Rome is the incredible restaurant scene. From casual neighborhood spots to some of the best restaurants in the world, Rome has a wide range of dining options. At mid-range restaurants, dinners range from $20-30. Since our dorms have a shared kitchen, we recommend that students shop at restaurants and markets so they can prepare breakfast and lunch and then eat out for dinner.

Internet/Cell Phone: Since we have Wi-Fi at our dorm and university, internet charges should be minimal. Cell phone charges vary greatly. International plans tend to be $50 per 100MB of data. Costs for a local cell phone will be around 70-100 euros plus prepaid minutes.

Transportation: The metro system in Rome is incredibly useful to get around the city. You can buy a single ride ticket for €1.50 or you can get a 7 day unlimited pass for €24. Depending on how often you use the metro, the 7 day pass may be more economical. Our dorm is located very close to the Lepanto metro stop.

Laundry: We will have self-service washing machines and dryers in our dorm accommodation. For a few Euros, you can wash, dry and clean your clothes.

Other Activities: There are a variety of activities to enjoy around Rome. Here are a few ideas. Our team can help you plan any additional activities that you would like to enjoy.

  • Visit to the Colosseum (€12)
  • Visit to the Borghese Gardens (free)
  • Visit to the Pantheon (free)
  • Rome bicycle tour (€45)
  • Daytrip to Pompeii (€110)
  • Daytrip to Cinque Terre (€115)

There are many ways to stay in touch while traveling abroad. Wireless internet is available throughout our hotels.  Please note that internet speeds can fluctuate depending on traffic. Internet can be slow and unpredictable, especially when all students are trying to upload pictures or watch videos at the same time. We ask all students and parents to be patient with the internet. Students will have more success using the internet if they use it at off-peak times.

LeadAbroad requires students to have cell phones while abroad for risk management purposes. Students can:

  • Bring an unlocked phone and buy a local SIM card upon arrival
  • Add an international package to current phone plan
  • Rent/buy a local cell phone

With Wi-Fi readily available in most locations, you are encouraged to utilize internet texting apps (iMessage for iPhone to iPhone, Groupme, WhatsApp, Google Hangouts) to communicate with program staff and family and friends at home.

In addition, we integrate technology into our communications and risk management strategy to keep students safe. Therefore, we require students to download the following applications on their phone prior to departure:

  • Groupme
  • Find my Friends
  • State Department
  • Facebook

If there is an emergency at home while you are abroad, our team will support you and your family in every way possible.  Should any friends and/or family need to contact LeadAbroad, please have them call our U.S.-based domestic team at 404.720.5657.  For emergencies, dial extension 710 when prompted.  Our on-call team will assist with the situation and get in touch with your program staff as needed.

To charge your electronics abroad, will need pack (or purchase when you arrive) an outlet adaptor.  A quick search on Amazon will provide several options!  For some items like hair dryers and straighteners, you will also need to purchase a voltage converter since voltage is much higher in Europe than the US.  If you do not use a converter, you could damage your appliance.

We encourage students to be mindful of their electronics while traveling. It is wise to conceal electronic devices when walking around as iPhones and laptops can be attractive for theft.

LeadAbroad strongly encourages students to be mindful of their health prior to departure and while abroad.  Living in a new environment, eating different cuisine and adjusting to a new schedule can impact one’s immune system.  Before you travel overseas, students should examine the factors that contribute to their physical and emotional wellbeing so that they can stay healthy and get the most out of their trip.

    1. Read and understand the CDC recommendations for your upcoming travel. The CDC website includes information on vaccines, medicines, packing lists as well as information to prepare students to stay healthy and safe.
    2. Make an appointment with your university’s travel clinic, dentist and other medical professionals. Students can proactively eliminate many potential health issues by ensuring they are in good health prior to departure. Additionally, during these visits, make sure your health records and prescriptions (including eyeglasses) are up-to-date. If you are taking a prescription medication, please ensure that you have enough for the whole program and that the medication is in the original container. If you self-inject prescribed medication, please carry needles and syringes with you. It’s important to understand that LeadAbroad will not distribute any form of prescription or nonprescription medication to students. We recommend every student travel with a medical kit.
    3. Be honest with yourself regarding your emotional health. Students that are concerned about their emotional stability or use of alcohol/drugs should address it honestly before making plans to travel. Contrary to many people’s expectations, travel does not minimize these problems; in fact, it can often exacerbate them.
    4. Contact us directly at info@LeadAbroad.com with any specific medical issues we should be aware of at least three months prior to departure.  Our team is better equipped to support you abroad if we know your health history and emotional health. Please share this information with us prior to departure.

Click here to view LeadAbroad’s health insurance policy.

Basic medical insurance is included in all students’ program fee. Please review the policy to become knowledgeable regarding the types of medical conditions and situations that are covered while you are participating on a LeadAbroad program.  If you are injured or ill while you are abroad and need medical attention, you will likely need to pay for the treatment upfront, and if covered the money will be reimbursed by LeadAbroad’s insurer after submitting your claims form.  If for any reason you need to seek medical assistance while abroad, a LeadAbroad staff member will accompany you to the doctor. Please contact us first if you have any sort of emergency.

It’s important to note that this medical insurance is not ‘travel insurance’ and therefore does not cover the cost lost or stolen luggage or cancellation of the trip. Students may purchase travel insurance independently through an outside provider. For more information on the different types of travel insurance you can click here.

LeadAbroad’s Emergency Response Protocol provides a system for coordinating the management of emergency services for all participants in our study abroad programs. In-country staff are the first point of contact for students on the program in the event of an emergency and assume leadership of the emergency situation until other resources (e.g., local police, etc) are available. However, in the event that the staff are unavailable, the following guidelines are provided here in case you, as a participant in the program, need to handle an emergency.

  1. Ensure safety: Your first priority is to safeguard the safety and well-being of yourself and other program participants. Do whatever is reasonably necessary to ensure safety.
  2. Seek medical care: Obtain any emergency medical care for affected participants as soon as possible.
  3. Control emotions: Remain as calm as possible. Do your best to diffuse any growing anxieties that may be occurring among participants.
  4. Communicate (as applicable). Depending on the nature of the emergency, it may be necessary to contact medical or emergency services, police or local law enforcement or the US embassy.
  5. Ongoing support: Continue to monitor, aid, and communicate status updates as the situation progresses.
  6. Debrief: Meet with LeadAbroad staff to discuss the situation, how it was handled and steps that were taken to resolve the emergency.

Reducing Risk Abroad

LeadAbroad takes many steps to reduce risk abroad.  You will be registered with the U.S. State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. The benefits of STEP include the following:

  • Receive important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in your destination country, helping you make informed decisions about your travel plans.
  • Help the U.S. Embassy contact you in an emergency, whether natural disaster, civil unrest or family emergency.
  • Help family and friends get in touch with you in an emergency.

You will be given a keychain with emergency contact numbers and the address of our accommodations.

Please review the following resources to ensure that you are informed on how to have a safe and healthy trip abroad:

CDC recommendations on preparing for a healthy trip
State Department travel recommendations for student travelers
State Department recommendations for women travelers

All students are required to be familiar with all program rules.  Please click here to review on our policies page.