Today marks one month since I’ve been living in Rome, Italy. This has been the most surreal experience of my life, but I have loved every minute of it thus far.

I have class three days a week and have taken full advantage of my four-day weekends for traveling! I have learned that it is important to not only take advantage of the new city that I call home but also to take care of myself. Even though you want to see as much as you can and make the most out of your time here, you must make sure that you are resting and staying healthy. It is okay to have a “lazy” day even though you are abroad.

During this first month, I have luckily not had many problems of being homesick. The first few nights are the hardest to get adjusted and acclimated to your new space and roommates, but once you get a routine you forget about everything else! I have had the best luck with roommates and people in my program! One of the hardest parts of the adjustment for me has been the time change. It was a struggle at first to find times that work well for you and your friends and family back at home to keep in touch. But, like anything else once you find a routine that works for everyone it works out!

One thing that I was worried about coming abroad was the language barrier. Although I am in Rome and it is a big tourist spot, English is not always common among the locals. Luckily, I have not run into a huge problem so far, but I recommend taking a beginner course of the language spoken wherever you are abroad. It makes it much easier to attempt to communicate with the locals, and easier to learn because you are surrounded by it all day every day. Lastly, don’t forget to cherish every moment and take lots of pictures and videos, or even start a journal to remember all these memories!