The GoGlobal Blog

Month: February 2012



I’ve been in Rome a few days now and it’s unlike other places I’ve ever been. It’s definitely unlike America. Don’t come here expecting to find everything you would at home. Because, except for a few things, you’ll essentially find nothing. Here are some of my impressions:

1.       The people here drive like crazy. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. There seem to be no rules of the road except to speed and have no fear. Cars park in different directions, sideways and backwards. I’m sure they would park upside down if it was possible. As long as there’s an open space, they’re going to park there. Motorcycles have a completely different system. They weave in and out of traffic like super crazy people. They seem to be paying attention, but we say someone with a helmet that had a slot for a phone. The driver could be talking on her cell phone while driving! I will say this, they do stop for pedestrians. Unlike Americans who never stop for anything, Italians are very quick with the brake.

2.       People here are very friendly. I don’t think I’ve met a mean Italian yet. I’m sure they’re here, but most of them seem pretty nice. They don’t seem to care that our Italian is horrible and we have no idea what we’re doing half the time.

3.       The weather is beautiful. All the Italians are walking around in like heavy duty winter coats that you would see back in Michigan this time of the year. I, on the other hand, am walking around in a fleece at the most. That is my “winter coat”. The nighttime is about the same temperature as some of the warmer days back home. The day is absolutely gorgeous. Also, there is this clean, crisp smell that I can’t get enough of. I like to open the door to my balcony and let in the fresh air during the day.

4.       Everything is super old. Like, you think things in the States are old. They’re only babies compared to Rome. We visited the Forum and the Colosseum today. I can’t believe how old it all is. It amazes me that people were able to build such structures back then with the technology they had. We could never do anything like that today. Also, the fact that everything is still standing is completely amazing. After everything Rome has been through, for there to still be things standing is incredible.

5.       I’m in love. Even though I’ve only been here a short time, I can honestly see myself calling this place another home. Once I get to know the language better and really experience being a Roman, I can say that I will always consider this place to be a home.

That’s what I think of everything so far and it’s only been a few days! Once I get through orientation and have some more time to get out and explore, I’m sure I’ll have even more to tell. Also, classes start soon and I’ll be back with my impression on them as well. For now, ciao!

Roma: An Adventure

Roma: An Adventure

All right, so here is attempt two at starting this blog. I started to write a post a few days ago, but as would happen, I got sidetracked and left it. Now, it’s a bit unusable since it basically says that I have four days to go and have not packed yet. Well, that’s all changed because now I have zero days to go and have packed! I am actually sitting in Newark airport right at this very moment. I have a good six hour layover here (my flight landed early) so I am bound and determined to find some place to access the wifi and update. I’d really love to watch some Merlin too, but we’ll see if that happens.

If you couldn’t tell by the title, I am heading off to Rome for the semester. My school has a campus there and I will be spending four months there. Just a little excited about that. I am a journalism and history double major and will be spending my time there mostly studying the latter. What better place to study history than in the Eternal City?

Here’s what’s going on right now. I’m sitting in a lonely airport terminal fervishly wishing I had wifi so that I could relieve some of my boredom. I’ve already taken one flight and have two more to go. Tonight’s flight will be my longest at just over eight hours. I’m heading to Munich where in the morning I will make my final connection into Rome. I think I’m feeling a little bit of everything right now. I’m excited, happy, hopeful, a little nervous and genuinely looking forward to what’s about to happen.

I can’t say for certain, but there’s definitely a good chance that I am going to change and I am looking forward to it. Who knows what’s going to happen, but I’m definitely going to make the best of it. There’s not much more to say for now, but I hope that you’ll hang around for the ride. I have a feeling that it’s going to be pretty spectacular!

EDIT: As you can probably tell, I didn’t find internet access in the airport. And it’s been a bit crazy since I got here, but I’m getting a chance to post it now! That means I’m officially in Rome! Have been for three days now. Let’s just say that I’m already in love. I haven’t done much venturing out beyond the neighborhood I live in, but it’s one beautiful place.

The people are so friendly even if we are obnoxious Americans. Getting a taxi at the airport was a fun experience since there were a couple of drivers who wanted me to ride with them as soon as I walked out. Just as a note, don’t ever accept a ride from someone offering! Those aren’t official cab drivers and they can charge you a boatload of money to get anywhere. Always use the taxi stand.

I used my first bit of Italian when giving my driver directions (it was just our address, but so what?). Somehow, despite the fact that I was tired, I managed to take in and enjoy the beautiful countryside. I started to get worried that he might not be taking me on the most direct route, but didn’t have too much to fear. I made it to school for about €50. Not too shabby.

After that there was just a bunch of paperwork and picture taking for our special JFRC IDs (after three plane rides I looked totally awesome). This is getting to be a long first post, so I’ll leave you with the fact that I somehow made it through the rest of the day, moved in, met my roommate and stayed awake. Needless to say, I had an early night.

Here’s to being in Roma and starting my great adventure!

[For those of you reading from Loyola, I got a late start in posting here. This is from a couple of weeks ago. I’ll add the rest soon. ^_^]

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow…in Rome?

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow…in Rome?

Hahaha wait a second! When I woke up this morning, I didn’t think that I was going to end up participating in the best snow ball fight this winter…in Rome! Coming from Milwaukee, WI, I am not a newb to the snow and its awesome packing qualities, but snow in Rome? I also didn’t expect to go to lunch and have the Student Life Assistants play “Let it Snow” on the speakers.

Yup, chunky white flakes were definitely coming down on the city today. Had I gone back in time? Was Santa Claus to have a return? Unfortunately… no. There was no eggnog, no candy canes, no big man in a red suit with a jolly laugh. There were however, palm, orange, and lemon trees frosted with the good ol’ snow. What an interesting landscape. Whoever thought that palm trees and snow could make such a beautifully odd  site. But you know what? When the sky giveth forth snow, one must taketh and throw it at someone. Hahaha well, you can guess what some friends and I did after lunch!

Not everyone thought it was pleasant. A man on campus wanted help putting chains on his tires! The snow was not light, but after experiencing the “Snowpocalypse” in Chicago last January, it was a little amusing to see the man freak out over three inches of snow.  Taking pictures standing next to a tall snowman, my friends and I had recorded Romes’ weird weather history. And it was really weird. Apparently the last substantial snowfalls in Rome were in 1985 and 1986, though there have been other cases of lighter snow since then, including in 2010. Pay attention to the word “light”. This snow was definitely not light, and it’s supposed to go till tomorrow morning at 7 a.m.

Hmmmm, I wonder what the Trevi Fountain looks like in blanketed in all this white? And I bet there aren’t as many courageous tourists to venture up the Spanish Steps today! It is beautiful outside though, and the fact that it’s a rarity makes it even more magnificent.

After the snowball fight, I got a big cup of hot cocoa, some toast and nutella, cozied up in a blanket and watched the snow continue to blow through the palm trees. Oh, the little details of the day that it make it pleasurable. Till it’s sunny again, I’ll be singing, “Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow…” Look out for pictures to come! It was pretty neat.

Weekend in Firenze

Weekend in Firenze

This past weekend was the first weekend without any mandatory trips planned, allowing students to venture out on their own.  Eight other girls and I decided to spend our time in Florence, Italy.  The city was beautiful, and it was such a great trip!  We were able to go to the Uffizi Gallery and Accademia Gallery to see a ton of amazing artwork, including Michaelangelo’s David statue.  We also had the opportunity to climb through a series of extremely steep staircases to the top of “Il Duomo” as the sun was setting.  It costed 8 euro but was worth every cent.  The view was unbelievable and it was interesting to step foot on top of this dome that I learned about extensively in a high school history class years ago. 

We stayed at the Hostel Greci, which I would recommend to anyone!  It was almost like a mini-apartment, and it was much nicer and bigger than I ever expected a hostel could be.  There was also good food..everywhere.  We never really planned where we were going to eat, but instead just ate at whatever restaurant was closest when we became hungry.  Last, but not least, there was a little marketplace we visited often during our stay where leather and other goods were sold.  Florence is well known for its leather and there were so many great things to purchase.  After a couple days of touring Florence, we ventured back home by train.