Having been in Rome for over 3 weeks now, I think I can say I’ve settled in! I’m learning my way around the city, or at least around my neighborhood and the areas near IES Abroad. I feel more comfortable and it’s really hitting me that I’m living in Rome. Before studying abroad, the longest I’d ever been out of the US was around two weeks. So I feel like at this point I’ve stated transitioning out of the “traveler” mindset and into more of a settled resident.
It’s an interesting shift, especially considering my classes are all centered around tourism and traveling! Speaking of classes, I’m definitely enjoying them and understanding the workload. It’s different than back home, less homework but more participation in class. Though, that might be due to the fact that there are five of us in all my classes! Which is a good thing actually. Getting to discuss the concepts we are learning has helped me understand my classes better.
So, I guess I can say that things are going well. The biggest thing that hasn’t really settled in is the fact that I am living in Rome amongst these amazing historical monuments and artifacts. And it’s something my mom is having a little trouble wrapping her head around. It’s hard to go from living in Philadelphia, where yes there are historical monuments like Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, to a place like Rome where I pass the Vatican and Castel Sant’Angelo everyday on the way to the IES Abroad Center. It’s a little surreal to be honest. These monuments and artifacts are so old and the fact that they are still standing is absolutely incredible! And the way they blend into everyday life, that I pass them on my way to school, is a pretty awesome thought.
Living in a city like Rome, that has the history along with the modern comforts of a subway system (okay, it’s not the best subway system but at least it exists), makes exploring a lot of fun. That’s definitely been a highlight of study abroad so far, getting to explore this incredible city and being able to do it while also balancing class work. It’s been an important balance to strike, but knowing that I have the time to explore Rome while also making sure I do well in my classes makes it easier. It’s a different experience to have a longer amount of time to explore Rome and see the sights but it also means that I get to see so much more. I’ve been lucky to travel to Europe before and it always feels rushed, like I’m trying to see everything possible in a very short period of time. Getting to spread out the sites over three months makes it easier to see everything and explore other areas, maybe the more residential or local areas that many tourists don’t get to see. It’s definitely been fun and makes me excited for the rest of my time in Rome!
So, I’ve definitely settled in but I’m still not over the fact that I get to live in Rome. That giddiness is welcome though because it pushes me to explore and soak it all in. It’s a lot of fun being here in Rome and while the adjustment wasn’t totally smooth, I’m definitely happy to be here!
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<p>I am a junior tourism and hospitality management major at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. I have a passion for exploring and dreaming, which lead me to study abroad! You can probably find me with my nose in a book or cup of coffee, daydreaming about my next adventure or wishing I was in the woods. Or truthfully, wondering how the New York Rangers are doing back home. Studying abroad in Rome has been a dream of mine for years and I cannot wait to share the adventure!</p>