Studying abroad with something I would have wanted to do since high school. I wanted to experience a new culture and widen my educational horizons. Despite being delayed a year by COVID, I’m thankful to still get the opportunity to study abroad. To prepare for my trip I made sure to spend time with all the people I loved most before I left. On the technical preparation side, there is a lot of paperwork and research involved, but it is worth the work. I officially arrived in Rome on Wednesday June 30th after a day of travel starting on the 29th. My flight left the United States in the morning of the 29th landed in Rome-FCO in the morning Italian time. I’ve never flown for 10 hours before, so I was definitely a little on edge but was able to get a few hours of sleep on the flight. This allowed me to stay up on the 30th until and go to sleep with the rest of the town, mitigating the jet lag.

            My first few days have been full of orientation, tourism organized by my affiliate organization, and meeting new people. Not knowing anyone that was going to be a part of my program, I was a little nervous about finding friends but have quickly realized that everyone else is in the same boat. It’s like freshman year — everyone is new and looking for friends — you just have to be friendly. I have started to get a feel for the area and the public transportation. I’m not studying Italian, so my language proficiency is quite low; nevertheless, I’m still able to communicate and navigate the city. Looking forward to my month here, I’m excited to learn what life is like in Rome, explore new places, and make new friends. Through this experience I expect my worldview to be expanded and my appreciation for other cultures to grow.