I believe most of us who want to or are already ready to study abroad are anxious to know about the experience and get settled. I thought it would be helpful to share a day-to-day week in my life, not only as a student studying in Rome but also doing an internship.
Before embarking on my journey to Rome, my school provided an amazing opportunity for me to apply and intern at the United Nations, specifically at the International Fund for Agricultural Development agency in Rome. IES Abroad kindly coordinated with my school to ensure I could schedule my classes accordingly to have time to commute and do my internship with ease. Although this is not an internship IES Abroad offers, they do have their internships for students, which is also a great experience, and they help arrange classes accordingly. With my internship, I am only taking three courses, which are my two area studies courses, including Cross-Cultural Psychology and Photographing Art and Monuments, and my last required class is Italian.
Before delving into my schedule, I would love to point out how awesome both of my area studies classes are. My Cross-Cultural Psychology is so interesting, and our field studies are great as we are right in Rome, being presented first-hand with the different cultures within Rome and how individuals have thrived and loved living there, as well as the opportunities the city has given them. My photography class also has great field studies because we are right in the center of all the historical sites in Rome. Not only am I learning about history, but I'm also capturing details in a more focused manner. I strongly encourage this class; I am not a professional photographer and have never set hands on a camera, but being out there in the field has made me appreciate and learn so much about the art of photography.
Now, moving on to my Mondays, I first have an hour of photography class, and following that, I have my cross-cultural psychology class. Usually, on Mondays, we go over more class content focus. After these two morning classes, I go home, make my lunch, and connect virtually to my internship. After that, I usually try to advance on any homework assignments and internship materials since Mondays are pretty light. Following this on Tuesday, I have a full day, mostly dedicated to a field study. For example, in my photography class, my professor will ask us to meet at Piazza Navona, and then we roam free in that area, taking pictures for two hours, with our professor assisting us with any questions. Then I have to hurriedly commute to my next field study, which has a 45-minute grace period. Most of my friends and other students take the bus or metro, as that is the fastest and most cost-effective mode to get to these environments. Then I attend my field study and commute back within the 45 minutes before my Italian class. In my Italian class, which is a bit short, is only an hour, we mostly cover content and prepare for our heavier lectures the rest of the days.
On Wednesday, I'm up bright and early to commute to work by metro. The metro system is a bit bumpy, and you must be prepared to adapt as it can be unpredictable. The 8 a.m. train is unbearably crowded, so be ready for a little push and shove. My commute is about an hour. Initially, I was not accustomed to it whatsoever, and I was completely exhausted the first couple of times, but now I enjoy getting an early start, putting my headphones in, and listening to music. Then I get to my internship and work from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. After that, I commute back for an hour to make it to my Italian class, which usually lasts for 1 hour and 30 minutes, accomplishing quite a bit of content. My favorite part about the Italian classes is that we not only learn the language and grammar but also discuss customs between Italy and the United States. These discussions have made our class very close, making it an enjoyable class to take after a long day. After my class ends, it is very typical for my friends and me to go out to dinner and go out. Wednesday nights are a fun time for many of us! Then on Thursdays, I have the same schedule, except Thursday nights are to get ready for a weekend trip! From Friday through Sunday, I will be exploring Rome, other cities in Italy, or outside the country, most times coming back on Sunday afternoons and having a reset day. In these Sunday resets, I do my laundry, go grocery shopping, and plan for the week.
Through this whirlwind of classes, cultural immersions, and weekend escapades, IES Abroad has been a guiding star, making the entire process seamless. This challenging yet rewarding odyssey emphasizes the thrill of studying abroad – take the plunge, stay curious, and savor every moment. The exhaustion is real, but the experience is unparalleled!
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Hello! I'm Emilie, a junior at Villanova, passionate about beauty, fashion, adventures, and meeting new people. Fun fact: I studied abroad and lived in London for high school. Can't wait to explore Rome and indulge in the finest gelato!