Classrooms get boring pretty easily, right? The same four walls staring at you and the trapped feeling you get when you can see how nice it is outside, or when your classroom doesn’t have windows?
Thankfully, that’s not a problem here in Rome. Sure, all my classes are in one classroom but most days (seriously, at least 2 of the 4 days I have class) we get to leave the classroom and go on a field study! Field studies are great because you get to use Rome as your classroom and see all the places or things you’re learning about. And the great thing about Rome is not only do I get to learn about art history, I also get to visit places that are important tourist sites or hold a lot of importance for the business side of tourism.
Basically, field studies are pretty awesome. You get to see what you’ve learned in person and get more of a hands-on experience. For example, one class I’m taking is called The Cultural Tourist. We learn about why people travel and the different types of tourists. Makes sense that we would go and visit the sites that tourists come to see in Rome, right? Of course! So last Friday, my classmates and I went of a field study where we traced the steps of the pilgrimage Gira delle Sette Chiese, or the Walk of the 7 Churches. We visited six of the seven churches (time constraints meant we couldn’t visit St. Paul’s Cathedral in the Vatican) and when inside the churches, we looked at the same relics that pilgrims sought out. Getting to see these churches, which are all gorgeous and built in different styles, really helped me to understand why people made the pilgrimage. Tracing their steps, seeing what they saw really made the lesson stick better in my head. Of course, the churches were also a sight to see in their own right.
One of the other classes I’m taking, The Tourism Enterprise, which is about economics and how tourism is managed as a business, took a field study to Avventurra Nel Mondo. This was really awesome because we got to visit a tour operator and learn about how they put together their tours, how they market the tours, and what happens on the tour. We got to meet one of Avventurra’s guides and she told us stories about tours she’s lead and the interesting places she’s gotten to travel to. Once again, this field study helped me understand how tourism is a business and how it can be managed. Also, getting to see a successful tourism company helped me understand how vital they are to the industry and to getting people to different destinations. Avventurra specializes in tours that bypass traditional tourist sites in favor of well, adventure! It makes their planning and guides more important to ensure traveler’s safety, but it also makes for a good learning experience to see how to manage that type of tourism.
Field studies are a big part of classes here in Rome. They help me understand what I’m learning in the classroom by seeing it in person. It’s also a good way to see the city and learn more about this wonderful city.
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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>