Venice from the bell tower in St Mark’s square!

Hey! I am Sarah, a rising Junior studying finance, real estate, and international business. I am currently in Rome, Italy for Summer 2, and have had the best start! Study abroad was something I was very nervous about considering I was going all alone. Turns out I really did not need to be nervous since everyone is so welcoming and also wants others to explore with! Within this first week, I have already gone on trips with the others in my study abroad program and am so excited for other excursions. Rome is such a beautiful city with amazing food and people! Something that I was unaware of is how loud Americans are compared to people from other countries. I had heard that Italians were loud and really loved to use gestures, but it really seems like that’s actually us Americans. My friends and I have been shushed multiple times just for speaking at our normal level! It was definitely a shock, but we have been working on adjusting to more of a whisper. So far in Rome, I have gotten to see the Vatican City, the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, and the Spanish steps. Inside St Peters Basilica at the Vatican City was my favorite, the size and detail that was put into the Basilica is unlike anything I’ve every seen. Another place I’ve gotten to visit was Venice, Italy. Venice is surrounded by water and is absolutely stunning, I went to the top of the bell tower at St Mark’s square and got to see a 360-degree view of the city! Just make sure you do not go to the top on the hour or every half hour because the bells are so insanely loud, my friends and I jumped when they started going off. Venice is also one of the hottest places I have ever been, so I made an afternoon stop at Lido beach which was the perfect thing to keep me from getting heat stroke. So far, I am definitely in love with all that I have seen from Italy and cannot wait to get even more insight into the culture and the history.