Studying abroad has always been something that has interested me ever since high school. I have always loved to travel and studying abroad sounded like a once in a lifetime opportunity to explore the world for an extended period of time. I chose to study abroad for the spring semester of my junior year for numerous reasons. The first reason being that I wanted to be fully adjusted to going to school in Alabama, since that was already far from home for me (being from Rhode Island). By the spring of my junior year, I was ready for a change, yet still got to experience the fun fall semester events such as football games at Bryant Denny that I didn’t want to miss!
When it came to choosing a school and program, I had no background knowledge. I met with a UA study abroad advisor who was super insightful and helped me narrow it down to the program SAI located in Rome, Italy at John Cabot University. I was interested in learning Italian culture, language, and trying new foods. Rome seemed like the perfect place for all three of these things! Rome also has a great public transportation system which makes it easy to travel to different places on weekends throughout my time abroad. Also, studying abroad at JCU is almost equivalent to the cost of attending the University of Alabama as an out of state student, and you can still apply for scholarships towards your tuition on top of this.
Preparing to study abroad and packing seemed to be the hardest part of the process for me, since I tend to be an over-packer. However, I tried to narrow it down and I am thankful that I did. Throughout my short time in Rome so far, I have been able to find items I have needed, that I didn’t bring with me, pretty easily. It is definitely not something I should have stressed out over, as there are plenty of shops around the entire city. Now I will have room to bring home new items and souvenirs purchased here in Europe! I am looking forward to exploring all that Rome has to offer in my next few months here and am eager to take on all the new experiences that come my way with an open mind.