When in Rome, you drink one too many espressos every day, eat dessert for breakfast, walk 20k steps a day, and start talking with your hands.
Ciao! I am Grace Garland, a Marketing major from Chicago and am spending the fall semester of my senior year in Rome at the American University of Rome. I felt like a freshman again coming to Rome, moving to a new city, making new friends, exploring my new campus, and getting a feel for my surroundings. Going from my beautiful apartment in Newport back to a twin bed with 6 roommates brought me right back to freshman year at Walgreen Hall, however, I am grateful for the homemade pasta over Miley dining.
Rome is an amazing city that also doesn’t feel like a city at all. While it is always crowded, the buildings are all historic, the cobblestone streets are romantic, and the history is beyond prevalent. I thought I would experience more of a culture shock but there are more similarities here than you might think. The first two weeks I felt in the honeymoon phase, I wanted to cancel my flight home and build a life in Italy and not look back. After week three, reality hit, and I was ready to come home. Being homesick has been the largest hurdle to get over during this experience, however, being able to country hop makes it all worth it.
When you are studying abroad you become a part-time student, and full-time travel planner. You barely sleep, and make every decision based on the experience. Meeting new people is wonderful and one of my favorite experiences has been learning Italian. I am appreciative to have chosen to study abroad in a city that makes travelling easy and to have met people who want to embark on similar adventures.