There have been a lot of events surrounding Temple Rome because next May will be Temple University Rome’s 50th anniversary. I was lucky enough to sit in and help with interviews for a video/documentary that will be shown at the big event here (in Rome) in May on the anniversary. I met a lot of interesting people related to Temple Rome while helping. I got to talk to current teachers who teach subjects I’m not taking and hear how they are finding Temple Rome. I also got to hear from teachers who went to Temple themselves about how much they love the program. In addition to former Temple students that are now teachers here at Temple Rome, I got to speak to former Temple Rome students from years ago that have since moved on but were called in to reflect on their experiences as a student here. One of them was a student at the University of Pennsylvania, who now lives in Rome. She is Italian-American and talked about her experience living here for the first time. (Obviously, she loved it so much that she moved here).
Also, my aunt went to Temple Rome in 1994, which is awesome. It was interesting to talk to her and hear that she had some of the same problems or reactions I had when I first came here. We commiserated about things such as the amount of dog fecal matter on the sidewalks, the confidence needed when crossing the street, and more! It’s also cool that we got to study in the same exact building in a foreign country, and that we had some of the same experiences. She liked walking around the piazzas, just like I do.
Then I got to give my interview, which was really cool! I’m excited to see the final video. I was a little nervous to provide one of the few voices of current students in the Temple Rome program, but I was honest about how much I love what Temple does here. Especially the student-life personnel who are always there to answer any questions from something big and important like: “I lost my passport, what do I do?” or “I lost my phone, what do I do?” to something fun and trivial like “Where should we go eat if we want to have really good carbonara?”
I love that Temple Rome has this legacy that comes with its history of being here in Rome for 50 years. I think that it gives the program a certain seal of approval in terms of its constant success. And its longevity fosters the idea that it’s trustworthy in terms of providing you with an awesome experience (although that also comes with someone actively seeking out the experience as well). Hearing how much has changed and how much hasn’t changed in terms of Rome and Temple’s program, I realized how lucky I am to be here (not that I don’t feel that every time I wake up and walk past the Vatican walls, etc.), but specifically how lucky I am to be a part of Temple’s program, especially as a Temple student.