1. Explore on my own
I’ve never traveled further than down the East Coast without my family or a school group. It will be a challenge for me to explore on my own without being afraid of getting lost or stuck in a situation with a large language barrier. I look forward to leaving the apartment armed with only my sense of adventure.
2. Improve my Italian language skills enough to have a conversation about the 3 Cs: il calcio (soccer), il cibo (food) and la cultura (culture).
There is only so much you can learn in a language classroom. The rest you learn on the street when you’re hopelessly lost, in a café asking about the concert or soccer games happening over the weekend and trying to convince a train ticket collector that you did pay for a ticket and you have no idea why it refuses to scan properly.
3. Learn to live as a local
I am extraordinarily excited to learn my favorite places -my favorite café, gelateria, piazza and specialty shops. I look forward to the days where I can navigate my way to IES, shops and piazzas without discreetly checking Google Maps on my phone. The first time that someone asks me for directions that I can successfully answer will be a true moment of triumph.
4. …and a tourist
I think it will be equally important for me to break out the camera and pose in front of the major monuments. I dislike being immediately pegged as a tourist, but I will have to push that aside and enjoy the main sights. What's a trip to Italy without a goofy photo holding up the Leaning Tower of Pisa or prentending to be a gladiator in the Colosseum?
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<p>Amanda is a junior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, majoring in Economics and Contemporary European Studies with a Philosophy, Politics and Economics minor. After graduation, she wishes to travel frequently while working with international trade and diplomacy. Her idea of a perfect day is enjoying an Orioles victory at Camden Yards followed by fresh crab cakes in Baltimore's Inner Harbor. She is excited to achieve Italian fluency,visit every Roman museum, find the perfect scoop of gelato and argue about soccer with locals at the neighborhood café.</p>