I spent my last spring break of college traveling abroad to Rome, Italy. I am a senior in the Interior Architecture program, and I was eager to experience the iconic architecture in Rome and
put into context the buildings I have spent my college career learning about. Studying abroad during college has always been a goal of mine, and this trip presented itself as my last
opportunity before graduating. Getting to know students of a variety of majors provided me with friends I would never have gotten the chance to meet otherwise. A few of my Interior
Architecture classmates went along on the trip, and I loved getting to spend one last trip with some of my best friends. I wouldn’t trade my study abroad experience for anything!
Once we landed in Italy, everything felt surreal from that moment on. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the history of the city, and I found myself trying to absorb as many details as I could. Our
schedule was jam packed to allow us to see as much as we could within our week there. We saw all of the major attractions such as the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, Galleria
Borghese, Vatican City, and St. Peter’s Basilica. Spontaneous stops along the way added special memories to the trip and always ended with a good story to tell. I threw my coins into the Trevi
Fountain, so I can only hope that fate brings me back to Rome someday! In the evenings we were given free time to do whatever we wanted, which for me included hopping on the metro
and getting to revisit some of the more iconic architecture spots. Having this freedom allowed us to try and live like locals and see the city on our own terms. Wandering around the city with no
itinerary allows you to experience a city in a way with no restrictions. On our last day, we had a whole free day to do whatever we wanted. A group of us wandered over to St. Peter’s Basilica,
where we were able to witness the Pope’s weekly “Angelus” Papal address from his window. These unscheduled occurrences are some of my most special memories!
I am currently enrolled in the CLAS 1200 course, which provided a great foundation of the history of Rome and provided context for all of the sites we were visiting. Being able to stand in
the Roman Forum and visualize what events took place there, and seeing the Colosseum and imagining the events there was surreal to experience. Our tour guide, Giuseppe, was so
knowledgeable and was able to provide us with unscheduled stops along the way that were some of my favorite moments of the trip. On one of our day trip excursions Giuseppe took us to see the
Mediterranean Sea and I will never forget our group running into the water and playing in the sand like children. This whole trip felt like one of those moments where you are aware you’re
making core memories. If you have the opportunity to study abroad during college, seize that opportunity. It may be scary, but I can promise you that you will not regret it! Studying abroad
teaches you so much about the world and yourself, and is such an invaluable experience.
Autumn Bracey (BS Interior Architecture) spent Spring Break 2022 in Rome, Italy as part of a faculty-led trip linked with a UTC course. Autumn had the following to say about study abroad, “If you have the opportunity to study abroad while in college, seize that opportunity. You gain a new perspective on the world by fully immersing yourself into a different culture. I can’t promise it won’t be scary at times, but I can promise that it will be worth it.”
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