The GoGlobal Blog

Author: Frances Mullenix

Hello! I am a sophomore nursing student at Loyola University Chicago. I have a passion for reading, writing and art. I hope to gain a better understanding of the world I live in. I decided to study abroad because I have never been out of the United States and I love to go outside of my comfort zone.
Cars on the Wrong Side of the Road

Cars on the Wrong Side of the Road


These past two weekends, I traveled to Ireland and the United Kingdom. Both areas were beautiful yet strange since cars drive on the opposite side of the road. On the ground, there are signs that tell passerby’s exactly which direction to look in. It would have been helpful if I had used it, yet I wasn’t always looking at the ground when crossing a street. I almost died a few times. An easy way to tell a tourist is which way a person looks when crossing the street. Although Ireland is in the European Union, they use the same type of charger shape as the United Kingdom.

Outside of St. Patrick’s Catherdel.

I traveled to Dublin, Ireland with two of my friends. The trip had a stressful start leaving the Rome Campus and taking a taxi to the airport. My friends and I made our flight by nine minutes. It took an hour to get to the airport with Rome’s terrible traffic. Many thoughts flooded my mind on what I would do if I missed my flight. It was a good thing we did not. Upon arriving in Dublin, the first thing I noticed when I stepped off the plane was the cold. Rome is a tropical climate and Rome’s cold is nothing compared to Ireland’s. For the better part of the weekend, it rained almost the entire time. I was stuffed into layers and layers of clothes. I never left the hostel without a hat, scarf and pair of gloves.

Street in Dublin

The Irish accent is something both merry and vulgar. The taxi drivers were the most hilarious people I encountered. The pubs were endless. If we didn’t like the first pub we walked into, we just walked to the one right next door or down the street. No one every ordered wine, beer was the substance of the Irish people. It was a good stress relief to come to the pub after a long day of touring through freezing cold rain or windy chills. We went to Trinity College to see the Book of Kells, St. Patrick’s, Christ Church, Castle of Dublin, and shopped till we dropped. The most popular things to buy in Ireland were wool and Claddagh rings. I purchased a couple of both.

National Park in Ireland

I also went with a tour to the Cliffs of Moher and Galway. It was the worst possible weather day to travel because of endless rain and chilly winds. Upon arriving at the cliffs, it was so foggy that I couldn’t even see the cliff’s I’d paid to see. It was fun despite the weather conditions because I was with a good group of people. We were mainly on the bus because it took three hours to get to the cliffs of Dublin. Then two hours north to get to Galway, then three hours back to Dublin. On the last day, we went started the day with an Irish breakfast and went to the Guinness Factory had toured the museum. I loved Ireland!

Dublin Pub

The next weekend, I went London to visit my cousin who is studying abroad there. I left Rome Thursday evening, and went shopping the entire day Friday. She let me stay in her apartment and took me around London to all the sites on Saturday along with her sister who flew in from Boston Saturday morning. Saturday was rainy and wet, but it was not as miserable as Ireland. I really did enjoy my time in London. I ate a lot of Indian food because as Mexican food is popular in the United States, Indian food is popular in the United Kingdom.

Tower Bridge London

One thing I was unprepared for but loved was how big and familiar London felt to Chicago. Everything is in English and there are familiar food chains. London has some very huge markets, two of which I shopped at. I went to Camden Market and Portobello Market that is on Notting Hill. I saw the Tower Bridge at night and during the day. London is an hour behind Rome so it got dark very early. Everyone I encountered was very friendly and welcoming. I had no idea that London was bigger than New York! The tube was easy and quick to use. One of my favorite thing was cooking food in, especially breakfast because breakfast is not a thing in Rome. I had avocado toast and eggs every morning!

Queens Palace

Ciao for now, next stop will be Vienna Austria!

Break Spent Exploring Greece

Break Spent Exploring Greece

Where do I even begin? I adventured across Greece for ten days. I walked down streets that fellow Greeks walked as well. Each city I traveled to had ancient roots that went back thousands of years. The things I saw, felt, heard, and tasted made my experience memorable and life-changing. My tour guide, a professor named Ioanna, helped to make all the student’s experiences in Greece amazing. She took us to the old Greek city-states Athens, Delphi, Sparta, and Corinth. One of my favorite parts was seeing the cities and lands in which they ruled.

The sites we visited were very relevant to my current history class I am taking at John Felice Rome Center. It is one thing to learn about history in class, it is another thing to visit the lands in which the Greeks dominated. I have had the wonderful opportunity to live and flourish in the eternal city and have experienced much of Roman history, yet Greece’s history dates back much further. The things I touched and saw were the same things that ancient Greeks saw and touched thousands of years before me. I am very happy to have had the opportunity to take part in such a life changing opportunity.

view looking over Athens

Life is a good, a world filled with happiness, friendship and love. Ioanna taught me that love is good, kind and it is in everything. The Greeks believed in six kinds of love: Eros, Philia, Ludus, Agape, Pragma, and Philautia. I have experienced almost all during my time in Greece. I was taught so much in ten days. A large group of students came together and went on an adventure through Greece. I gained knowledge of Greece and her history. I was gifted the greatest opportunity, to have my dreams turn into reality and have my curiosity and love of art run wild. I flourished in Greece’s culture, beauty, individuality, and history. I lived, walking through the streets of Greece, a city where I made memories that will last a life-time. There were good times and bad, but together with the sites, museums, monuments, and beautiful landscape of Greece, I have found a new place to call home.

Temple of Poseidon
Orientation in Rome

Orientation in Rome

Ciao! My first day in Rome was spent partly on planes. The first was traveling across the Atlantic Ocean from Chicago, and the second was traveling from Ireland to Rome. Upon arriving in Rome, the first thing I noticed was temperature. It was 90 degrees which explained why everything looked dry. I was amazed by the types of trees native to Rome, especially the palm trees. I was told that Rome was currently in a drought and resembled weather like that of a tropical climate. Leading up to leaving the United States, I did not do any research on what the weather was going to be. I made the mistake of wearing all my heavy fall-like clothing. This clothing included my north face jacket, a vest, a hat, a scarf, and booties.

This is an image of me standing on the second level of the Colosseum.

I flew with the group-flight and was happy tosee many familiar and new faces. After catching up with many of them, I realized that all our feelings well under similar categories. I was told that as soon as we stepped off the plane into Rome, orientation would begin. This later proved to be true because upon walking into the John Felice Rome Center, our whole entire next five days were mapped out. We had to register and turn in paperwork before heading to our rooms. The more interesting thing I learned about the campus was that it used to be home to nuns. Knowing that really helped me understand the reason for the strange lay out of the building. The worst thing I learned was that there was no AC in the dorms, this was super disappointing because it was 90 degrees outside and felt like 100 degrees inside.

This is an image that shows some of the JFRC campus and the many palm trees. To the left is the cafeteria and above that is the library.

Orientation is planned for a full two weeks. I had meetings with the SLA’s (like RA but graduated students), Director, Dean, and many others. They had two ‘Survival Italian’ sessions we were required to attend. During these sessions, I learned the alphabet and how to pronounce things. My professor told the class that if we knew these two things, we would be about to say any Italian word. After a few days in Rome, I started to be able to easily pronounce words even if I didn’t know what they meant.

The Colosseum and all it’s glory. 

This beauitful view is from an outcrop in The Forum looking over Rome. On the horizon you can see the Vatican.

I had officially finished one week of orientation and my three favorite experiences were going to the Colosseum, the Forum, and the beach day. The Colosseum and Forum could be summed up in one world: WOW. I was so taken aback by the immense size and fact that millions of people had walked on the same stones I was. Thousands of years ago, these two areas were the center of Roman life. Today, they still held a similar way of life but for tourism and the residents of Rome. The beach day was neat because I found out that I was about to swim in the Tyrrhenian Sea. The water was salty and the strong, everyone had to be careful not to be pulled out too far. We had our own area of the beach rented out for all the students and it resembled a very nice beach resort. There were beach chairs, beach beds, volleyball, and a bar and restaurant.

This is an image that perfectly describes what the area around the JRFC looks life. 

The area that the John Felice Rome Center is in is called Balduina. It is very different than the historic center of Rome. It is very quiet and family friendly, with many stores, food and drink places. Everything all of Rome is in Italian which can be confusing and immediately made Google my best friend. The city isn’t built on a grid and no such thing as ‘block’ exist, it is constantly up and down. I am really enjoying my time at the John Felice Rome Center and in Rome. I have seen so much beauty, art, and history with in the few days that I had been here. I look forward to the many more adventures that I had for the next three months.