Rome has been great, but I can honestly say that I started planning trips during my time abroad as soon as I could.
And you should to!
I started off by choosing between three to four places that have been dreaming of going since I was a little girl. I wrote Paris, Barcelona, Athens, Amsterdam down on a list and decided on the three places I wanted to travel with one of my roommates. I thought this was really special because not only did me and my roommate not know each other prior to the program, but we also found enough trust in one another to take on various countries together through the use of google maps, metros, and desires.
I intern Monday to Thursday and only have class on Wednesday’s and Thursday’s, which allowed me to have a full three-day weekend to travel. I booked most of my flights for Friday’s and tried to come back at a reasonable time on Monday to get right back to work. This was the easy part!
I can honestly say one of the hardest things that I went through while trying to travel outside of Rome was finding places to stay. Although hostels are a VERY popular thing, I preferred to stay in a hotel so I would be able to leave my belongings in a safe place. I found difficulty in finding hotels because most of the hotels within the city we wanted to visit, for example, Barcelona, were quite expensive causing us to have to stay in a close by city but also teaching us how to use another country’s metro system (Which actually wasn’t that hard).
Although it’s important to take advantage, there’s no better time to travel to other nearby cities and countries. Traveling while abroad allows you to be able to see the world around you. It is extremely easy to travel within European countries for a low cost (When’s the next time you’ll be able to book a $150 flight to Paris?).
However, although traveling during your study abroad experience is favored, there are a few things you should keep in mind:
Try not to travel alone.
Plan a budget.
Discover all ways of travel (Plane, train, bus, etc.)
Look up how far your hotel is from certain destinations such as the airport or sites that you would like to see.
Investigate public transportation in that specific city.
Keep your passport in a safe place.
Don’t be afraid to go on a whim and get lost!