From the moment you’ve clicked that seatbelt closed, the feeling of “oh… I’m going to be in Italy for four months” washes over you and you wonder, ‘am I really doing this?’
But then you get to Italy and you just know, “I’ve got this.” Italy has this great aura that you always hear about, and when you arrive and walk around, you feel it too. You can’t help but just fall in love with it all. Some things may take a little longer to love, but you know, “oh Italy…”
The look and feel of Rome is so different than anyplace in the United States. Built so long ago with all those buildings still standing and in use, you really start to realize and appreciate how much influence this city had in the past. You can still see the history around you, how the greatness of Rome was, and still exists today.
The classes offered at campus reinforce these realizations. The art history classes are my favorite. Lecture one day, and excursion the next, we go to all the little churches and galleries, seeing so many pieces live.
Not only do you see the masterpieces, but entire collections families and churches have accumulated. Viewed together as a whole, you again realize how important certain families and places were to Rome. Then walking around, I find myself mini-testing myself on things, “oh this, by so-and-so, and look at this other dude trying to copy it but not so successfully…”
So then, by the time finals come around, it’s no big deal. Walking and exploring, looking at what’s around, there’s so much more history and culture than in the States. It really is impressive.
Even now on fall break, with just the one week away from Rome, I miss the grandeur and feel of it all. It’s so great to be able to travel around, to see other cities and countries so easily, but Roma is special.
This is my second semester abroad – I spent last fall in Tokyo with the Japan program – and seriously, being abroad is amazing. There are so many new and different things the world has to offer. You just need to experience them for yourself.