My Study Abroad experience was spent using Spring Break 2019 to explore Rome, Italy for 10 days with my Legendary Rome: Epic Founders, Wicked Emperors and Saintly Martyrs Classics class. During the semester, our knowledgeable professor and enthusiastic leader, Mrs. Knopick, taught us about how Rome was born, raised, and matured into the wonderful city that she is today. We learned about the myths she grew from with stories told by Virgil to the powerful empire she became through Livy’s historical writings. Rome’s people, her deities, her emperors, and her martyrs, they all played a part in creating the majestic city.
The flight out itself was kind of long, kind of boring. But I love to travel, and I love to fly (being prior military), so this was nothing new for me. I was fully prepared for the length and the jet lag to follow. It’s all part of being an adventurer and exploring the world. There were a couple of hiccups along the way: a mix up with my name for one. But like I told everyone, I’m still on my way out of the country, so no reason to be upset, just need to fix it. Mrs. Knopick was excellent at improvising and working out this unavoidable accident. A couple hours later and we were on our way!
Once we landed, even knowing all the things I’d learned, right up until the day we flew out of America, I still was not prepared for the spectacular sights of Roma Italia. She was truly a sight to behold. We were standing in the remains of an ancient civilization that was once the most powerful empire in the entire world. Rome fell but was able to rebuild herself back up again, just as beautiful now in her antiquity, if not quite as powerful as before. I was completely awestruck and immediately in love.
We got to visit many places that were mentioned in our readings of Livy and Virgil. The Pantheon, the Colosseum, Domus Aurea, the catacombs of Santa Domitila. I climbed the Spanish Steps at 5am one morning to watch the sunrise over the city. I visited Trevi Fountain where I got to make a wish in hopes I can go back one day. I got to see many famous paintings inside the Borghese Gallery and then strolled through the gardens. I took a train to visit Ostia Antica to see the archaeological site. So many places, that I can’t possible name every single one. One of my top favorite things (besides all the delicious food and spectacular shopping) was the visit to Vatican City, as it has been one of my dreams to do so. I don’t have the words to describe what the experience was like. Breathtaking doesn’t even come close.
I highly suggest taking any study abroad experience that you can with any class that allows the privilege. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and I plan to do so again if possible.
Amanda Cosme is majoring in English and Nursing. She spent Spring Break 2019 in Rome, Italy as part of a faculty-led trip for her Classics 1200 course. Amanda had the following to say about her time abroad, “Study Abroad to Rome, Italy was one of the best experiences of my life. If the opportunity to study abroad presents itself, you should take it.”
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