You are in GLi> What alumni say


We asked our students to share their experience of studying abroad with Gustolab International Food Systems and Sustainability (GLi) in their own words.

Students from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign:

“Studying abroad was something I knew I was going to do, but never realized how amazing it would be. I can’t even put into words. If you have the opportunity to do it – DO IT!”

“Love Gustolab! Great staff with a great program. I can tell that these people love their job and have a passion for working with international students. I have enjoyed my time getting to know them, and exploring Rome and the Italian countryside with them. Grazie Mille!”

” I would highly recommend studying abroad. It’s a great experience that can open your eyes to how big and accessible the world is.”

“I had the unique opportunity to study, travel, and work in the Italian countryside – thanks to the hard work and creativity of the Gustolab staff”

“Study abroad while you can because you will probably never get the chance to live in Europe for 3 months without any real responsibilities (jobs, kids, etc).

“Taking this program will open your eyes to a completely different side of food production”

“This program was the best decision I ever made. Gustolab Institute is a great school that helped immerse me in the Italian culture while also teaching me about nutrition and sustainability”

“As cliché as it sounds, studying abroad really does change your life. For me, Gustolab has opened my eyes to the world of incredible wine, olive oil and food production in general. Sustainability is definitely something I want to implement in my life and in my diet. Come with an open mind and allow yourself to be flown away by the Italian language,food and vital environmental issues.”

“… was a grand food tour and culture show of southern Italy, and would be better described as an Experience Abroad” ce and although that’s cliché, it’s true. Living in Rome for four months was wonderful. It seems as if every block has an ancient ruin or a beautiful church. Not a day went by without discovering a new favorite building or restaurant. The culture is rich and the food is plentiful. There’s a different feeling there than any other place in the world, a certain old-worldness that doesn’t exist in the United States. Living in Rome and traveling throughout Europe changed my perspective on life and how it should be lived. Although my time there was short, I wouldn’t trade it for anything else in the world.”

“Great class that was very hands on and one of my favourites.”

“I really enjoyed this class, and the field trips were good additions to the in-class material.”

“The class was always so full of energy.”

“I really enjoyed the cooking class.”

“Gustolab International Food Systems and Sustainability did a great job! I had the best time!”

“I enjoyed the trip overall and would highly recommend the course to other students.”

“Great experience overall.”

“The visit to the vineyard outside of Rome was beautiful and interactive.”

“I really enjoyed the lectures, I learned a lot!”

“Life here just isn’t the same as it was in Rome. I really think I left a piece of myself in Rome.”

Students from Auburn University:

“An incredible opportunity everyone should take and fully immerse themselves in … I went to Italy with an open heart and mind and this is why I enjoyed it more than words can describe.”

“a holistic edification in a beautiful place”

“Italy is the best place one can go to study food and nutrition. It will teach you to have a deeper appreciation and passion for a subject that you wish to help so many people understand.”

“…jam packed with amazing experiences and a perfect screenshot of what Italian culture is like”

“A closer, hands-on look at how food is supposed to be viewed and experienced in the world”

“a perfect balance between learning and leisure”  

Student from CHATHAM University:

“Recipe for a Perfect Chatham Abroad: Begin with an enthusiastic group of 22 students and professors. Add an exciting semester filled with theory analysis, film discussions, daily food presentations and fieldtrips to the Strip District of Pittsburgh and Eden Hall Farm. Top it off with a Roman holiday, adorned with trips to Vatican City, Florence, farms and fisheries at the Mediterranean Sea. In good taste, the Chatham students on the Rome Abroad trip had the opportunity to experience culture through taste. Favorites of mine included fava beans and pecorino cheese, a traditionally May treat Romans indulge in among other cuisine. The most interesting aspect of consumption in Italy that kept resurfacing during the trip was the presence of fresh foods being readily available. I was amazed, as an American, that even at the grocery stores, fish was not sold in saran wrapped, Styrofoam dishes, but sold whole in order to better gauge freshness. Artichokes were in season during our trip, overwhelming the markets with the vibrant green and purple vegetables that could be prepared baked, Roman style or fried, Jewish style. As an English and cultural studies major, travelling to Rome with Chatham’s study abroad program was a perfect fit. I had so many life changing opportunities such as getting to visit the Colosseum, travel through underground frescoes from the fourth century and enjoy the best pizza ever from Buffetto’s. While we had so many unique experiences as a group, the most important lesson I absorbed was the notion of rispetto, or respect, surrounding consumption of everything from art to artichokes. Taking the Producing Food, Producing Difference class with Dr. Alice Julier before the trip, along with my other cultural studies and English classes, lead me to analyze culture based on different artifacts and values, specifically in this case Italian culture, which became apparent to me during the trip. During a wine tasting with the Sommelier (a trained and knowledgeable wine professional), I couldn’t help but notice his repetition of the phrase “you must respect…” while discussing consuming the order of vintages from the youngest to the oldest, as well as the type of glass shape for specific types of wine. This rhetoric was also apparent in our Italian breakfast tutorial with Sergio, the bar waiter at the Gustolab café. Throughout his presentation, he described coffee and tea preparation in terms of “respecting” the appropriate, specific temperature of the water when making tea as well as saying that “you must respect” the espresso machine by always having it meticulously heated. This respect most definitely transposed to Italian culture as a whole, from walking through the Vatican museum and “respecting” the ancient tapestries by not taking flash photographs of them, to quietly travelling through the Jewish Ghetto on Sunday afternoon to see the famous Fontana delle Tartarughe, or Turtle Fountain, to not requesting pineapple on pizza. To do so would not << fare una bella figura! >>.”

Students from the University of Massachusetts Amherst:

“Informative and great to broaden my tasting and knowledge of wine.”

“Fabio was a great teacher and I greatly enjoyed and appreciated what he taught us and did with us. He is so well-informed has definitely sparked an interest in the topic of Italian Food & Culture.”

Students from Hobart and William Smith Colleges:

“Gustolab International Food Systems and Sustainability staff I love you! I wish we had more time with you.”

“Thank you for a wonderful experience! Every event was fabulous.”

“The wine tasting with a sommelier was awesome … I learned a lot.”

“The trip to Naples and Pompeii gave me a good feeling, due to the tour guide and museums.”

“Thank you Gustolab International Food Systems and Sustainability. You were nothing but patient with us and delivered a “deeper” learning experience. It was tasty too!”

“Now that it has officially been a whole year, it has thoroughly sunken in that I miss Italy so much. I miss being abroad so much, and I’m so grateful for how wonderful you made our program.”


“Gustolab International Food Systems and Sustainability was a very interesting experience supported by a helpful and patient staff, with a lot of savoir-faire.”


“Gustolab International Food Systems and Sustainability provides students with an unparalleled opportunity to engage directly with some of Italy’s most prominent and influential food entrepreneurs. The institute advances traditional classroom learning by encouraging critical discussion about food activism, cultural preservation, and global economics with these critical players in the food industry.”

“I think the strength of the Gustolab lies in its ability to introduce students to some of the most prominent players in the field of food entrepreneurship, critical food studies, and historical preservation of food culture. Nowhere else do students have the opportunity to discuss the cultural politics of food with the very people who are shaping the field of study on this topic in Rome.” Ashley Young, Phd Student

“Really enjoyed, best summer, life becomes more meaningful, enlightened, broadened my view for world and food field.”

“I love Gustolab. Thanks for being wicked awesome.”

“The Gustolab International Food Systems and Sustainability is run by several kind, helpful individuals who were eager to educate if you are willing to learn. Not only this, but the Institute is situated in a wonderful part of Rome, and as a student, you are given the insider’s details on where to visit and why, I loved this program, the city and the country of Italy!”

“I love this program, Rome is absolutely amazing. The staff and location of this school are awesome.”

Italian students:

“Devo ringraziare Gustolab International Food Systems and Sustainability per l’opportunità che mi ha dato veramente unica! Ho avuto la possibilità di partecipare ad un progetto “Rome in transition” dove mi sono relazionata con degli studenti americani ed è stata una bellissima esperienza! Grazie a questa esperienza ho potuto lavorare con dei studenti americani ed ho imparato molto!! Grazie ancora Gustolab. A presto. ” Sabrina Leoni, ROMA Tre University

“Collaborare con Gustolab è stata un ‘esperienza molto piacevole. Entrare a contatto con i ragazzi americani è stato entusiasmante i ragazzi dimostrano un’innata passione per l’Italia e per la cultura italiana, sono stati molto disposti allo scambio di opinioni, e di comparazione delle nostre diverse tradizioni. Sicuramente un’occasione per incrementare la lingua con dei madrelingua molto disponibili ad ogni tipo di dialogo. Aiutare a mia volta i ragazzi per il loro progetto è stato molto interessante e divertente soprattutto mi ha dimostrato il oro diverso approccio al lavoro aprendomi gli occhi ed insegnandomi a migliorare il mio. Anche le persone all’interno di Gustolab si sono dimostrate molto gentili e cordiali, l’atmosfera a Gustolab è stata amichevole e familiare.”  Michela Carta, Roma Tre University

“È stata un’esperienza molto costruttiva e positiva. Mi ha dato modo di migliorare il mio inglese e mettere in atto la mia conoscenza della lingua. Ho avuto modo di confrontarmi con ragazze appartenenti ad un’altra cultura. Sono felicissima del tempo passato a Gustolab Institute.” Benedetta Provenzano, Roma Tre University

“Questa esperienza è stata molto bella e costruttiva. Abbiamo avuto modo di migliorare il nostro livello di inglese e di interfacciarci con altre culture diverse dal nostro punto di vista. Abbiamo incontrato molti ragazzi che si sono dimostrati simpatici e gentili nel farci capire espressioni che noi a primo impatto non capivamo. Un’esperienza che consiglio assolutamente, 10+.” Luca de Pompa, Roma Tre University

“È stata un’esperienza molto costruttiva, non solo per il lavoro svolto, ma anche per le nuove amicizie fatte con i ragazzi americani. Ho passato dei bei momenti e mi sono divertito. Spero di rivivere un’esperienza del genere in futuro sia per migliorare il mio inglese, sia per stringere nuovi rapporti di amicizia. Ringrazio il gruppo di Gustolab Institute per l’opportunità che ci è stata data, un abbraccio forte.” Samuele de Marco, Roma Tre University

“L’esperienza qui a Gustolab è stata molto interessante. Sia dal punto di vista linguistico per poterci esercitare a parlare in inglese con persone madrelingua, sia a livello personale e culturale per lo scambio di conoscenze e informazioni avute con gli studenti americani che sono stati molto disponibili e simpatici. È un’esperienza che consiglio vivamente.” Martina Finali, Roma Tre University

“È stata una bellissima esperienza. Mi sono trovata molto bene con gli organizzatori del progetto e con gli studenti dell’università di Illinois, Grazie a questa esperienza i è stato possibile confrontarmi con diverse realtà. Proprio per questo la raccomando ad altri giovani.” Sara Carbonari, Roma Tre University

“Questa esperienza è stata molto formativa ed interessante. È stata molto coinvolgente collaborare con gli studenti americani per creare uno scambio interculturale con le tradizioni e le abitudini italiane. Questo progetto mi ha dato la possibilità di imparare molto. Quindi è un esperienza che rifarei e che tutti dovrebbero fare.”  Giulia Rossi, Roma Tre University