“I went into the program expecting it to be like a vacation, because that was my perception of the kinds of people that did study abroad- before I got the opportunity to go myself. Because of the generous funding from the financial aid office, going abroad became possible for me.
When I got to Rome, I was most shocked by the challenges of living truly independently in a place where I couldn’t understand most people. I remember I got the flu the second week and truly thought I wasn’t going to make it for the whole eight weeks! Still, being able to go to Rome for an extended period of time really made me appreciate the life of a European as well as the joys I take for granted at home in the United States. It brought me closer to my group here [in Rome] while also opening myself up to making new friends on-the-fly.
If I could do anything differently, I would try to be more open and excited to meet people and do things sooner. It just took me a while to get into a rhythm, I think I was still just overwhelmed in the beginning with being in a new place, and because of that, it took me a few weeks before I felt like I actually fit in.”