I grew up in a house full of antiques with a family that very much admired architecture and design both within our own home and around the globe. Older things such as antiques and ruins have always been a keystone of our decor, conversations, and interests for as long as I can remember. I followed this passion into the Interior Architecture & Design Program at UTC in which my love for historic architecture only continued to blossom. Jump to senior year as I prepare for graduation I see an email about a trip to Rome for spring break and sent it to my friend and sister. From there we attended the interest meeting and had any concerns cleared up and were on our way to making it happen. I had long admired buildings such as the Colosseum and Pantheon as well as other icons such as the Roman Forum and Trevi Fountain spending time reading about them and looking at photos online so I thought I knew what I might be getting myself into .. but boy was I wrong! ( in a good way)!
Stepping off the plane it still did not feel real that I was really in Rome.. a nice bus ride took us to our hotel and I will always remember turning the corner seeing the pink stucco, green windows, and blossoming trees sitting with my sister so excited for what was to come. We sat down in our room and opened our window waving at our friends in other rooms smiling from ear to ear so thankful to have made it here together.
We spent the week with such an amazing group of students and an awesome guide named Giuseppe who was so knowledgeable and engaging with every tour and tidbits of information shared even in between walking to our destinations. The main highlights that made the trip for me were as much the monuments such as the Colosseum (which was mind blowing) as it was walking to get a snack and taking in the views. We had the best schedule and were able to have full days of sightseeing then evenings free to wind down a bit and head out for dinner and fun. My sister and I particularly loved visiting the area surrounding the Trevi Fountain/ Pantheon (which are very close to one another – maybe 2 minute walk) which included shops, dining, and people watching. Our hotel was in a nice location where we were very close to the metro and were able to navigate easily and really make the most out of our time. All of the things you hear people say about Rome are true – there really is nothing like it. The memories I made are hard to describe in words and even more so in text so hopefully the photos can express some of the pure joy we experienced! I am so thankful for the opportunity to participate as it has gone down in my books as the highlight of my senior year of college and something I will surely remember for the rest of my life.
Kristen Donnell (BS Interior Architecture) spent Spring Break 2022 in Rome, Italy as part of a faculty-led trip linked with a UTC course. Kristen had the following to say about study abroad, “I highly recommend participating in a study abroad trip! Rome was a dream come true and even better than I had ever expected it to be. I was lucky enough to go with a few familiar faces and made some great new friendships during it. Don’t let any nerves or questions hold you back from such an amazing opportunity!”
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