Ciao from Roma! It’s springtime here in Rome, which means gelato, sunshine, and enjoying my daily cappuccino sitting outside! It also means tourists. Until now, I have experienced Rome amongst mainly, Italians. It has been the experience of a lifetime! I am studying with AIFS Richmond, a great program for any of you who are still searching for one! I have nothing but praise for AIFS Richmond in Rome. The program directors are amazing and are there for your every need. There are 65 students studying abroad with AIFS, and when we arrived the directors already knew our names! It is a very personable and friendly environment. Our school building is so nice – the classrooms have all the modern technology we are used to and there is a great computer lab with the comfiest chairs and magazines to read in your leisure time. Now, where I live. I cannot be happier with the apartment that the program arranged for me! I have 4 other roommates from the program, from all over the U.S. We live in an area of Rome called Trastevere (the best area to live in), a village-like community that features numerous family-owned Italian restaurants, a park overlooking the city, and great Roman nightlife. It’s only a 10-minute walk for me to school and the city center.
During my time in Italy I have made countless amazing friends, both American and Italian. Our program is made up of American students, but because we are scattered across the city, living amongst Italians, we get that cultural immersion. AIFS sets up a lot of activities for us to meet Italians our age as well – dinners, soccer matches, and movie nights. I have learned that I love the Italian culture… everyone is so friendly and laid back. On my way to Italy, I visited London where everyone was always on the go, hurrying to get somewhere. Italy is the complete opposite. People walk at a leisurely pace, take in everything around them, and stop to enjoy a view or talk to someone they recognize.
Italy, I think, is the most beautiful country I have ever visited. I have traveled all throughout Italy – to Florence, Pisa, Venice, Siena, Capri, Sorrento, Tivoli, and Naples. I’ve also visited England, the Netherlands, and Greece. I’m going to Croatia next week, and Germany in a few weeks. I never dreamed that I would be given this many opportunities to travel while abroad in Europe! Greece, I would have to say, is definitely my second favorite country to Italy. Ever since “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants,” I’ve dreamed of going to Greece, and I got to spend a week in Athens, Mykonos, and Santorini!
My study abroad experience has exceeded my expectations, has exceeded my dreams! I am living in an ancient city where I get to walk by the ruins where Julius Caesar was killed on my way to school, have class in the Colosseum, and take field trips to the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel. If you are still trying to decide where to study abroad, pick Italy! You will not regret it for one second. If you want to see more about my travels, check out my blog at http://worldisabook.weebly.com
Ciao for now!