I don’t know if I am the type that seeks adventures, but I have to say that I have done many new things in the past few years and surprised myself. For one thing, I’ve never imagined myself to travel abroad alone 7918 miles away from home to start a new life after going to the same school for six years, but here I am, already in the end of my third year at Temple. In fact, coming to the U.S. technically is my “study abroad,” so studying on the Rome campus was never a thought in mind until a few months ago.
The thought of going to Rome came across my mind when I was re-reading one of my favorite books, Angel and Demons from Dan Brown. Being immersed in the story, I was also interested in the sites that were brought up in the novel. I started imagining myself taking relaxing walks along the streets of Rome, checking out the ancient buildings and architecture. Upon that moment, I made up my mind that I had to give Rome a visit. It all felt like my own imagination until I received the acceptance letter. It’s really happening. I’m really going to Rome.
However, I didn’t get to spend much time thinking about the upcoming Rome Study Abroad because of the overwhelming semester. All the assignments and exams just kept coming. I was constantly being chased by deadlines, which is never a good situation to be in. In addition to all those stressful situations, what really made me take a break from all the schoolwork was the Heat and Mass exam I took two weeks after Spring Break. I’ve always tried to be on top of my stuff and to aim for the best results. Yet, I waited until the last moment to study for that exam. I was completely unprepared, but I couldn’t force myself to study more. Right after the exam, I already knew that I had screwed up, but I had only myself to blame. I started to rethink the decisions I’ve made so far, especially why I chose to double major and to put so much pressure on myself. The thinking reminded me that I used to love learning because I was interested in almost everything. The concrete walls, glowing computer screens, and endless textbook-readings have decreased my interest in exploring all the cool stuff around me in a surprisingly fast pace. That’s when I thought about Rome again. I thought about the Sistine Chapel, Castel Sant’Angelo, and of course, Piazza Navona. I thought about the internship that I will be participating in this summer, about being able to learn how to do research on the topic I am interested in. I told myself, “Just a few more days until I get a break from solely learning from lectures and reading textbooks. Just a few more days and I will get to walk around the streets of Rome after hearing stories about them. Just a few more days.” With those thoughts in mind, I finally felt revived again.
So, what do I think about studying abroad in Rome? Am I excited? Yes, very much. Am I nervous? Yes, also very much, terrified even. However, I am glad that the excitement triumphs the nervousness. And I am more than ready to embrace this adventure in Rome to restore my passion for learning and exploring.