The GoGlobal Blog

Ramblin’ Around Roma

Ramblin’ Around Roma



Surprise, surprise, being in Rome is fabulous and I’ve explored and had loads of fun and loved every second of it. I’ve seen Papa Francesco, been to an AS Roma game (vs. Real Madrid aka Cristiano Ronaldo & crew), and eaten enough gelato for a lifetime. However, I still am studying abroad. Contrary to popular belief, or at least what my friends and family’s think I do with my time, studying abroad in Rome does actually involve studying. Between the bowls of pasta and glasses of wine (with dinner, of course), school is the reason why I am here. I still take a full-time course load, my classes are still challenging, and I continue to work hard for my grades. Being in Rome doesn’t automatically make my academic life easier. However, as with most other things, classes in Rome are still a quite a bit better, and that is for one reason: on-sites.


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“On-sites” are classes that will meet on-site at a location somehow related to the material the class covers. I’m currently enrolled in Roman Catholicism, Writing Rome, and Honors: Encountering Europe, all of which are at least partially on-site. I cannot stress enough how amazing these classes are. Though it may be a little frustrating to make time during the day to get up early and take the hour-or-so public transport ride to the site of the day, on-site classes are the perfect opportunity to get out of the classroom and experience Rome while learning a bit more about it.


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Through my on-site classes, I’ve been lucky enough to visit several churches and basilicas (including the biggest one of them all, St. Peter’s), places where famous writers lived and worked, and sites with incredible histories. I’ve explored the trendy Trastevere, tasted new foods, soaked my senses at markets full of fresh foods, and had a blast learning at the same time. I’m also able to move away from campus regularly, which can be hard when you’re wrapped up in assignments and trip-planning, and get to know the city I came to enjoy. For any of my readers who are interested in studying abroad at the JFRC, or even another center with on-site courses, I highly recommend them. The ability to return to campus every other day with more stories to tell of the new things seen while just being in class is a blessing that should be taken advantage of.


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Still, beyond my beloved on-site classes, there are other opportunities to get out and experience Rome, its surrounding areas, and even other countries while getting a good education at the same time! Study trips, aka school sponsored and organized educational trips, are available to all JFRC students. I myself took a day trip to Ostia & Antica to visit coastal ruins and some of Rome’s most impressive catacombs. The chance to explore both and pretend to be Indiana Jones for an afternoon is one I’m happy I didn’t pass up. At the same time, I also got to learn about the lives of the everyday Italians of centuries ago and their burial practices, broadening my knowledge and understanding of my place in the world. If this doesn’t sound appealing to anyone going to the JFRC, don’t fret – there are plenty of other study trips offered that would offer a day or several days of enjoyment for someone with any set of interests.


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All in all, the studying part of studying abroad may continue to be as rigorous as back on my home campus, but there’s nothing like being able to learn and explore new surroundings all the time. Check it out for yourself in this video. Ciao for now!

P.S. to those going to/interested in going to the JFRC: Seriously, on-site classes are amazing. Take them.

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