The Journey to Roma

The Journey to Roma

This trip has certainly been a long time coming.  I’ve been dreaming of the day I would have the opportunity to study abroad in college for what seems like forever. And Loyola’s John Felice Rome Center was a huge factor in my choice to come here. But now my dreams are a reality and I get to post this…from Rome.

Loyola could not make it any easier for us to come abroad—especially to Rome. I’m quite literally attending Loyola University Chicago, just in Italy. The University has helped us with each step of the study abroad process. They provided an option to apply for our study visas on campus, a group flight rate—which included a shuttle to campus upon arrival, and even scholarship opportunities.

The physical journey here was not quite as pleasant as enrollment. Mine started with a missing passport scare—thankfully recovered with help from my roommates and uncle, then a quick flight from Moline (the airport closest to my hometown) to O’Hare, followed by a 2 hour layover, then the hop, skip, and jump over the pond to Frankfurt, Germany. Unfortunately, my flight was not as delightful as hopping, skipping, or jumping is normally. I was definitely lacking on the sleeping, but had the chance to catch up on some movies and reading.

When our crowd of “JFoRCers” landed in Frankfurt we all drowsily made our way to the gate and tried to stay awake for the next few hours until our next flight would leave for Rome. After a slight delay we boarded our short flight headed for Italy. I foolishly missed out on that napping opportunity and opted to read. And of course catch my first glimpses of the Eternal City from above.

Upon arrival to Rome, a friend and I had to take a cab to campus because we did not book the shuttle with the group. Which really wasn’t so bad after all, it turned into a bit of an adventure. Two other Loyola students ended up splitting the van-style cab with us. Driving in Rome for the first time was pretty intimidating. But I’m sure the crowded streets and aggressive drivers would make anyone uneasy. I was a little more worried when our cab driver parked in front of the “Hotel Massimissi”, not the JFRC campus. Apparently she had written down the wrong address. We weren’t too far from where we were supposed to be, so after another zip around the neighborhood we officially arrived to the JFRC.

We didn’t have a chance to rest easy though, our evening was packed with meetings, a walking tour of the neighborhood, speakers, dinner in Mensa—our dining hall, and plenty of important information that would’ve been much easier to grasp if we hadn’t been so jetlagged. Let me tell you, going to bed at 8:30 that night was perfecto. And I hope the rest of my semester is perfecto, too.

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