I’ve been in Rome for a little over two months now (*gasp*) and I’ve felt really comfortable in my established routine. Before coming abroad, I would wonder what my daily life might look like in Rome and what I experience now is better than anything I could’ve imagined. The day I chose to write about is what an average day looks like for me when I go to my internship (I go in two to three times a week).
8:30 a.m. - 9 a.m.: Head out the door, grab a coffee, and catch a bus
From Tuesdays to Thursdays, IES Abroad classes (except for Italian) are held at different locations around Rome for weekly field studies. These field trips are a great way to see what we learn about in the classroom while also spending time out in the city. But, depending on where you live, these field studies can be far away. It’s good to plan out your day the night before (and to take into account commute time given how unreliable the bus can be) so that you’re not late to class. On this day, my class (Rome as a Living Museum AH-320) went to the Capitoline Museums so I had to take the bus to get there. Once we got to the museum, a few students had their presentations on the She Wolf and the original statue of Marcus Aurelius. I really enjoy going to field studies because they’re a way for me to see more of the city as well as go to museums or sites that I never would have gone to on my own. Some of my favorites have been at Palazzo Barberini and the Borghese Gallery.
11 a.m.: Stop for groceries
After my field studies, I’m usually tired and like to spend some time at home especially if I have work later in the afternoon. On this day, I stopped at my favorite grocery store, La Capra Rampante, on the way home because I wanted to make myself lunch. This grocery store is unique because everything inside is organically made and each product has a clearly identified origin. I never really shopped organic before coming to Italy, but it really is such a big part of the culture here that I’ve learned to love. I highly recommend shopping here for produce because everything is really fresh and affordable.
11:45 a.m.: Casually walk past the Vatican on the way home
Okay, we’re halfway through the semester, but I still can’t get over my walk home. I pass by the Vatican (or sometimes I go through Vatican City) everyday on the way home from class. I really like walking home and taking the long way because I have a moment of gratitude and appreciation for where I am. It’s also kinda fun to people-watch here—it’s such a great little walk home.
12 p.m. - 2 p.m.: Have lunch and relax
By noon I get home to take a second to relax and have lunch. I really like making myself lunch for the most part because it’s something I miss doing from home. My go-to lunch is usually a sandwich with prosciutto, buffalo mozzarella, arugula and tomatoes on a few pieces of pizza bianca—it’s become my new favorite lunch since coming here and I love to recreate it. On this day, I also had some leftover corn and chickpea salad that I made for dinner as well as some boiled sweet potatoes (yes everything is from La Capra Rampante!). If this sounds like a lot of food, it is. I. Love. To. Eat.
2:15 p.m.: Walk to the IES Abroad Center
Every Tuesday to Thursday, Italian takes place at the IES Center at 2:30 p.m. On Tuesdays, classes are an hour and on Wednesdays and Thursdays classes are an hour and a half. Italian class is my favorite because we learn things that are easily applicable to our daily lives. One day last week, we learned how to give directions and right after class I was walking around and an Italian lady asked me how to get to Piazza Navona, and I was able to give her directions! That is literally what every language teacher wants to happen, but it ended up being such a cool interaction. I also love our Italian professor Desiree who is really easy to learn from and talk to.
4:00 p.m.: Pick up a cone of gelato
The colder weather doesn’t stop me from getting a gelato from Teatro Gelato (right next to IES Abroad). They just released their pumpkin flavor and it was perfect. I also love their tiramisu flavor.
4:30 p.m.: Bus to Sala 1
Though my class ends at 4 p.m. it usually takes me about an hour to get to work because the buses can be delayed, so I normally get on the bus at around 4:30 p.m. My internship is about a 35-40 minute bus ride from the IES Abroad center, so I try to leave right after class.
5 p.m. - 7 p.m.: Work at Sala 1
My internship is at a contemporary art gallery called Sala 1. It’s a really cool non-profit gallery that is located in an ex-basilica near the St. Giovanni Lateran Complex. I do a lot of different tasks, but I’ve mostly done social media and prepared the director for upcoming shows. I also go to many art galleries around Rome for my director where I take pictures and send her notes. Usually, I just go to the gallery for work; but, on this day I was sent on an errand for my boss.
8 p.m.: Dinner with my roomie!
I finished the night in Trastevere with my roommate and good friend Simran! I met her through IES Abroad and we’ve become really great friends (thanks, IES Abroad!). On this night, we went to Ercoli in Trastevere which has really great pastas and wines. It’s a popular local place that has been one of my favorite restaurants that I’ve been to here. I had pesto pasta with jumbo shrimp meat—yes, it was amazing.
10:30 p.m.: Head home
After dinner, we had a really nice walk home along the Tiber River. We got home around 11 p.m. and I got ready for my weekend trip with my sister before heading to bed.
I hope this daily schedule was helpful! I can’t stress enough how much I love being a student intern. It’s definitely a busier daily routine but it’s so worth it. One thing to keep in mind though is that you should only do how much you feel capable of doing. Being abroad is a lot of work on its own so don’t stress out if your daily routine isn’t always jam-packed—make sure to get lots of rest!
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Hi! My name is Mia and I'm a junior at Occidental College studying Sociology and Art History. I’m from Kailua, Hawaiʻi and love to surf, practice yoga, roller-skate and listen to music! I’m so excited to be studying abroad in Rome for the Fall 2022 semester and can’t wait to experience life in Italy. I’ve got a passion for writing about culture, art and style and can’t wait to explore these interests during my time abroad.