I am writing this after looking at my phone and realizing that I leave for my first flight in 3 1/2 days... I thought for sure I had a week or two left. I can't believe it has sprung up on me so fast and I haven't even started packing yet! Now, a little bit about me. My name is Amanda Rogers. (Fun fact: I'm named after an instrument. Amanda Lynn=A mandolin. Get it?) I am a senior at Marietta College, which is in Marietta, Ohio (not Georgia and trust me, that's a common mistake). I'm a double major in history and music with a minor in leadership studies. I've wanted to study abroad since I was in high school and I was planning on doing it during a semester, but I changed my major and it messed up my schedule to where I couldn't leave for a semester. This past fall I went to talk to my Education Abroad Office, begging them to help me find a way when they suggested going in the summer. And so I started planning.
I've changed programs twice, debated between three different locations since October, and I've been with IES Abroad since the beginning (they're pretty awesome!). I also want to state that I probably would've been happy anywhere, this is just how I eventually choose Rome! I started out deciding on Vienna and I actually deposited for that program, but I realized that I may love music but I'm not sure I like it enough to play and practice during the summer, which is usually my time off from practicing every day. I wanted to explore the culture, not have to necessarily worry about practicing and being good enough (I do that at college). At that point, my back up plan was Amsterdam and it was middle of February at this point. I knew I needed to make a decision within a week. Something in me made me pick up the summer catalog again and Rome caught my eye. It was, honestly, love at first sight. It took me deciding one program wasn't for me to see it, but I was so excited when I finally decided on Rome (for real!).
As I mentioned earlier I have not started packing, which I will probably regret when I start packing tomorrow. I've been making mental lists of what to pack but I don't think that's going to help me--at all. As much as I hate to admit it, I'm still not unpacked from college... I didn't see the point. I have to pack for Rome and then only three weeks after I get back, I leave to go back to college. My must-have packing list includes: a power adapter, one sweater, many shorts and dresses, and repacking a million times. I've discovered that when packing and only having so much room, it helps to pack and re-pack a few times. Eventually you'll get sick of it and start deciding on things that you don't really need. I also plan on packing with my mom because she will tell me outright whether I need something or not. She will also make me justify anything I want to bring, so this way I know that I'm truly only bringing the items I need. One recommendation I have for fellow travelers: pack early! I really wish I would've packed early because now I'm regretting it immensely. I will definitely be packing quickly and hastily.
My parents weren't very keen on me studying abroad, but I remember when I told my mom that I had decided on Rome, she was so excited for me. My mom's side of the family is very Italian and many family members are giving me helpful hints and telling me what places to go to. I've never been abroad and neither have my parents, so when it came to how to prepare (what to pack, or anything really), I had no clue. And take that along with never having flown before, I was and still am very nervous. The internet is not always the best source for information, but in this case, it has become my best friend... especially Pinterest. I found articles upon articles telling me about traveling solo, what to pack, and how to act. I've learned a lot from them and I haven't even arrived in Italy yet! Some articles relieved certain worries but made me think of others. What if my roommates don't like me? What if I don't make any friends? How will I explore and experience a culture and city in six weeks? I don't have any of those answers and honestly I don't want them. Having those answers would ruin my experience and I want to have my experience be MY experience. In three days I will fly out of Cincinnati, to my connecting flight and an overnight flight to Rome and start my wonderful, great, exciting, and education-filled experience. So as a Dr. Seuss quote says, "You're off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So get on your way!" And, trust me, I am ready to get on my way.
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<p>Hi everyone! My name is Amanda Rogers and I am a Senior at Marietta College and I'm double majoring in History and Music. I am so excited to blog and share my Roman summer with you! Cafes, museums, and (the occasional) accidents!</p>