Hey now, hey now, this is what dreams are made of - no really, spending six weeks living, studying and travelling Europe truly is a dream come true. Ever since my freshman year of college, I knew I had to study abroad - I mean when else would I get the chance to immerse myself in a new culture while getting course credit AND meeting some of the best people? Add in the fact that gelato shops are everywhere you look and it’s socially acceptable to eat pasta at any time of the day - there’s no way I could have gone through college without studying abroad.
Before diving into the fun stuff, it’s important to remember the main reason why I came abroad - to study. While in Rome, I am taking two classes to fulfill GenEd requirements. Although they are only GenEd courses, each class does require a substantial amount of work in order to receive course credit. However, my professors make an effort to schedule excursions and trips to areas that can further enhance our education experience at Temple Rome. For example, my Sustainable Environments class, spent several class times exploring the Villa Borghese Gardens and discussing the different environments that could be found there. While the next day, in my Art History class, we visited the Colosseum and Roman Forums to learn the history behind them.
However, it’s not all school work while abroad - there is plenty of time for fun! I’m lucky enough to have no classes on Mondays or Fridays, which means more time for travelling and exploring my new home. This past weekend, my friends and I were tourists in Rome and did everything from taking a train to a beach with a castle on it, attending a festival to celebrate Italy Republic Day and even attending mass at St. Peter’s Basilica. Rome has so much to offer and having the opportunity to live and learn about their culture and history has been one of the best experiences thus far.
However, perhaps my favorite part about being abroad, is how easy it is to travel to other places. Two weekends ago, I travelled to Budapest and had the absolute time of my life. The buildings, landscape, people and food Budapest has to offer is amazing. While there, I had the opportunity to visit the Thermal Baths - a MUST if you plan on visiting the city. And if you need to find me this weekend - I’ll be lounging on the beaches of Malta - an island in the Mediterranean Sea.
In short, studying abroad has been nothing less than amazing and I still have to pinch myself at times to really grasp the fact that I am in Rome. In such a short amount of time, I have learned so much about other cultures, countries and even myself. Study abroad enables people to leave their comfort zones and create memories that will last a lifetime.
This blog post was written by Allison Eckel, Director of Mentorship.