Here it is. My last post from Italy. It’s bittersweet to think that this is the end, this is my last post and my last weekend in Italy. It’s crazy to think that 12 weeks have already gone by, but it also feels like it’s been forever since I was stateside. And while I’m excited to see my family, I really don’t want to leave Italy. I had a fantastic time abroad, getting to see Rome and other parts of Europe. I visited my dream destination, Amsterdam, and ventured to eastern Europe for the first time! It’s been an incredible journey, and one I’m not ready to say goodbye to.
Studying abroad was always a dream of mine. From the moment I started college, I was planning on studying abroad eventually. I knew I wanted to study abroad in Italy because of my family being there, but which city was unknown. At one point I had my heart set on Florence, but I am so glad I landed in Rome. The history of this city and the juxtaposition of modern architecture and ancient structures is so interesting and makes for a great living experience. I loved getting to explore Rome and learn more about it. In my head, I had seen Rome as only a tourist destination filled with cultural sites and museums but it is so much more. There are neighborhoods with parks to relax in and so many cool things to discover.
I can’t stress enough how awesome it was to go to a relatively new place. The last I had been in Rome was nine years ago for about three days during a two week vacation around Italy. That is not enough time at that age to really get an impression of a city. To have the chance to come back to Rome and spend 12 weeks here was so amazing and I learned so much about the city. It is more than ancient structures and museums, Rome is a city of interesting and diverse people and neighborhoods that are fun to explore. There’s shopping to do in Rome, doner kebabs to eat, places to run, and so much more. Rome is home to so many different types of people and so much more history to explore than that of ancient Rome.
I’m going to miss Rome. Living here for 12 weeks showed me so much about this place and I completely fell in love with the city. I have a deeper connection to Rome than any other city I’ve visited because I got the chance to live here and call this city home. I got to walk past St. Peter’s Basilica everyday and go to classes across the river from the Castel Sant’Angelo. Having an experience like that opens up a city to you in a different way than visiting as a tourist.
And so I end this blog with a few words of wisdom: study abroad if you can, travel when you go, and come into the experience with an open mind. Immerse yourself in the city and its culture and explore. Find your favorite little places in the city (enjoying a sunny day in Piazza Cavour is my suggestion for Rome) and let yourself become a citizen. Become a local and learn the ways of the city. It’s the best way to get the most out of your study abroad experience. Oh, and go to class. You’ll learn some pretty neat things and get the chance to see what you’ve learned about in person. Great way to make you remember everything, huh?
Study abroad, find your place, and travel. I hope you find your adventure and enjoy it because it’s one awesome journey.
Arrivederci Rome, I hope we meet again.