This trip was my first abroad. I had never been on a plane for longer than three hours. I was nervous, but this trip was exactly what I had been dreaming of doing for my entire life. The trickiest part of the trip, honestly, may have been that I arrived at the airport not really knowing anyone. Over the course of the trip, I had a chance to get to know each person. The collective of different majors that this class brought together was astonishing.
Every single day there was something new that we explored. Our schedules were packed tight with every thing we could see and then our tour guide tried adding random side tours here and there. A lot of the things we learned about at first I thought “why does this matter”, but as time went on and we moved around Rome there were so many pieces that started to fit together. There are few things that are as satisfying as finally understanding what your tour guide has been blabbering on for days about. Every night we would finish off with “late” dinners enjoying a variety of pastas and wine before retiring to the hotel. With the cool night breeze coming through our open windows, we fell asleep, or rather were woken up, by the noises of the city which included car honking battles, an endless stream of smashing bottles, and screaming people. Italians do like to argue.
The unreal part about traveling is being able to insert yourself into the stock pictures everyone has seen. Reality comes around to wack you as you stare up the side of the Colosseum realizing how tall it is, but everything that is left is a minority of what it use to be. The funniest part about all of the old history in Rome is that all of the city is literally built around it. Just going for a stroll through the city you can find the Trevi fountain then the Colosseum and the Roman Forum then place where Caesar was stabbed a few minutes later. As a traveler there is no better feeling than finally understanding how to get around, the jaw drops as you become flabbergasted from a new site might be at the same level.
Allissa Dickey is majoring in Communication and spent Spring Break 2019 in Rome, Italy as part of a faculty-led trip for a Classics 1200 course. Allissa had the following to say about studying abroad, “’Every step is a leap in faith. There are so many new things to learn, places to remember so not to get lost, and details of a whole other world that could have never fathom. However, at that moment in which you realize you have achieved all of that and more, becomes one of the proudest moments in life.”
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