Life at CIMBA: What It’s Like Living on Campus

Written by Kevin March 24, 2016

View from one of the CIMBA dorm rooms

Looking at Mount Grappa from campus

More views of the mountains from campus

More views of campus looking out to Mount Grappa

Every study abroad program is slightly different and each has their positives and negatives regarding their living conditions. CIMBA is a very unique program, and although this is my first time studying abroad, based on my conversations with friends and other study abroad students, here are a few unique parts of living at CIMBA.

Dorm-style Housing

I had no idea what to expect when I came here. To be honest I was not too excited about living in a dorm room after living off-campus the last two years at Clemson. But I really have liked the dorm-style housing. I came to CIMBA not knowing a single person and living in dorms again has made it very easy to make friends and stay in contact with them as they live just right down the hall. Also, it is great that we paid for it up front rather other programs where you not only have to find your own apartment but pay utilities and such which is hard enough to do in the US. I can’t imagine figuring that out in the Italy.

Shared Facilities with Italian Students

This is a very interesting part of CIMBA. Although we do not have the same classes, we do share our facilities with high school, middle school, and even elementary school Italian students. It’s funny because at Clemson (and, I assume, other US universities), you really only see other college students; you almost forget that there are people outside the ages of 19-24. Most of the high school students I meet here speak pretty good English and I have enjoyed talking to some of them, getting their impressions of the United States, and hearing about how schools in Italy are similar and different.

Small Campus

This, I think, is my favorite part about living here. All of our classes are on the floor right below where we sleep, which makes it very easy to get to class. I can walk from my room to any class in less than two minutes. This is awesome because we can sleep in a little more, which, after traveling for a weekend, makes Monday morning a little bit easier.

Students From All Over the Country

CIMBA is based out of the University of Iowa but attracts students from all over the country. I have lived on the east coast my entire life and go to school on the east coast. It is interesting to meet people from the midwest and even further out west.  We have a good balance of students from all over the place. I really have enjoyed talking to students about their school, and I have learned a lot not just about living in Europe but what it’s like to live and go to schools all over the US as well.

Small Town

Paderno is a very small town. Many Italians don’t even know where it is. But being in a small town allows you to meet and get to know many of the locals. Paderno may be small but it really is beautiful. It’s located in a valley between beautiful mountains that are still covered in snow as I write this. It’s great to be able to look out and have such a beautiful view every day. It’s also not far from a train station and airport, so it makes traveling relatively easy – almost the best of both worlds. We have weekends to see other big cities and then spend our week in a smaller town that is starting to feel more like home.