Applying to study abroad in my sophomore year was definitely an exciting but quick process. Genuinely, knowing that I was going to Italy for a whole summer made the semesters pass by so quickly. Shoutout to the Study Abroad team, because the process was so simple, I thought I was definitely forgetting something. I had known I always wanted to study abroad and the second I found out Temple had a campus there, my plans were set.
How did I know I wanted to go to Rome?
I remember in my 6th grade class we had to make little vision boards of things we wanted to accomplish. I grew up in Jersey so the beaches didn’t really have the clearest water. I saw a pinterest picture of a town with blue waters (the one below of the Amalfi Coast, didn’t even know where it was) printed it out and put it up in my room.
This is the picture I had saved from 6th grade for when I went there one day, and I got to go to that exact spot exactly 10 years later.
You Have Prepped Now Time to Enjoy
Preparing for a new campus in a new country can be no small feat. Preparedness is important aka. setting up housing, plane tickets, the perfect outfits, acquiring film, the list goes on and on. But learning in Rome also means to act like a Roman. Eating delicious food is just the first step, taking a second to admire the architecture on the way to campus, watching the boats row by at sunrise, collecting the fallen flowers on the cobblestones, looking at trinkets in the windows, and enjoying a gelato on the steps of the pantheon are all experiences that cannot be learned in the classroom.
Make friends to explore the city with. You are probably not only going to stay in Rome for your stay. Campus classes offer classes in a way where you can plan your classes and have many days to travel and go to many different parts of Italy. Transportation is available everywhere, think of Rome as the hub and the train systems can get you around Europe in a single day.
If you choose to do temple housing, meet your roommates before, or even independent housing, find a friend on campus who is going and wants to do the same.
Experience the culture. Temple Rome students will be taught how to use the bus and train systems. You will also get passes to museums, and students in Rome always have discounts just find them! You can either do this on your own or join classes which will provide these opportunities for you. Personally, I took the Art of History in Rome and we went to many little towns, churches, and historical sites and were taught the history and stories of these places making the experience much more enjoyable.
Spend time by yourself as well. In America the hustle and bustle of everyday life takes over. You do not even realize how many everyday activities turn into a mental checklist. On campus I grab my coffee to go, pack a lunch and stick it in my backpack, and sprint back home the second my classes are over. Let’s just say the first couple weeks I noticed myself hounding down locals as I walked to class and never took a moment to enjoy the plethora of beautiful sceneries available to me. ENJOY yourself! It is okay to sit in a park and do nothing, set aside time to people watch with an aperol spritz, or take a seat on a local bench and just journal. This semester was made to learn about the world and more importantly yourself.
You have done all the hard work to get here, enjoy your classes!