First Week in the Eternal City
Ciao Tutti! (Hello All!)
One week ago I arrived here at the John Felice Rome Center where I will spend the fall semester of my Junior year. I will actually be spending both academic semesters abroad this year as a Ricci Scholar. Next spring I will study in Beijing. I’ll be regularly updating this blog while abroad to inform about my experiences as a business student at our other campuses and to give an impression of what it is like to spend semesters studying in Italy and China.
My first night I was able to make it out and enjoy the city with friends despite being sleep deprived and jet lagged. It is absolutely beautiful here! I’ve done a lot of exploring so far, but I know I’ve barely begun to scratch the surface of all Rome has to offer!
The JFRC campus is a bit old, however it is very charming. I was told it was once a convent. It’s located on top of a hill in the Monte Mario neighborhood of Rome which is a few miles north of Vatican City. There are several busses that serve the area, but we’ve been enjoying just walking to the city center and exploring the neighborhood.
It’s different than the Lakeshore or Water Tower campuses in that you sleep, eat, study and go to class all in one big building. My dorm is a double up on the fourth floor, which is the top floor. It’s not a typical room because of how big it is and because there are two balconies. We lucked out! All rooms have a sink in them and full bathrooms are down the hall.
The cafeteria here is called Mensa and they serve delicious Italian food for lunch and dinner. All of the lunch ladies are very friendly and patient as I struggle to order my meals in Italian.
I’m taking 18 credit hours this semester including 3 business courses. I’ll mainly focus on my experiences in the business classes since this is a Quinlan blog. I was immediately impressed by how “worldly” all three of my business professors are. They’ve all had impressive careers and lived and worked all over the globe. Since my major is International Business, hearing their stories and about their experiences is especially interesting to me. I’ve found that when they teach a concept, about marketing for example, they’ll often relate it not only to real world situations in the US but also to Italy and other countries in which they’ve had professional experience. I also find them to be very inspiring and encouraging. The classroom atmosphere feels more relaxed and personal here since the average class size tends to be smaller.
Beyond the gates of our American campus, this bustling city is filled with new and unfamiliar sights! I love the architecture and observing the differences in how Romans and Americans go about their days. I tend to always be rushed and in a hurry back in Chicago, and I think many of my peers are as well, however, that is not the way things operate in Italy. The pace of life is much more relaxed and easy going. Patience is necessary here! Despite my personality and way of thinking not exactly matching the Italians, I’m excited for the new perspectives and outlooks on life I expect to learn here. Stopping to smell the roses is proving to be quite nice!