Studying abroad in Rome, Italy was an amazing experience. I have never traveled abroad before and everything about the trip was a new experience from the ten hour ﬂight, to the diﬀerent languages, to the diﬀerent outlets.
International traveling is a lot more intense than a stateside ﬂight. The airport had diﬀerent terminals for international ﬂights, and there was a lot of checking passports and security checks. COVID-19 also still aﬀected our travel as we had to wear masks over our nose and mouth for the entire time in the airport and plane. Sleeping in the airplane chair was diﬃcult, but the entertainment was great with movies built into the back of the seat in front of us. Now that I have tried it, I understand the jokes about that airline food.
Speaking of food, Italy was an amazing culinary experience. The authenticity and simplicity of the Italian cuisine was beautiful. They stick to minimal ingredients and mastery techniques. I wanted to try all of the infamous dishes like Cacio e Pepe, Bruschetta, and, of course, Margarita Pizza! One thing that they do not tell you is that the pizza is served uncut, and it is you and your table knife against the world.
My interactions with locals in Rome were quite friendly and not as intimidating as I expected. Rome is such a large and diverse city that there were many languages beyond Italian being spoken, including English. I picked up a few common phrases like “Ciao” meaning “hello”, “Buongiorno” meaning “good morning”, “Grazie” meaning “thank you”, “Prego” meaning “your welcome”, and “Andiamo” meaning “hurry up”. I heard that last one quite a bit from our tour guide!
Getting to see all of the outstanding sights in Italy was a phenomenal experience. I found myself holding my breath looking at the size of the Colosseum, the intricacy of the Sistine Chapel, and the detail of the Trevi Fountain. I have taken several classes on Roman History and my appreciation is so strong. Rome was one of my dream places to visit, so getting to marvel at these historical and cultural masterpieces was a dream come true.
Studying abroad in Rome, Italy for a week over spring break was one of the best decisions of my college experience and gave me memories that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. The people, the food, the culture, the art, the wine, the history, and the experience is truly something I will never forget. They say if you throw one coin over your shoulder into the Trevi Fountain, you will come back to Rome. I absolutely participated in the tradition, and I cannot wait to go back!
Marissa Lott (BS Psychology) spent Spring Break 2022 in Rome, Italy as part of a faculty-led trip linked with a UTC course. Marissa had the following to say about study abroad, “Studying abroad in Rome, Italy for a week over spring break was one of the best decisions of my college experience and gave me memories that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.”
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