The GoGlobal Blog

Author: Krista Watson

Hey! I'm Krista, and I’m combining my passion for travel and love of cities through study abroad in Roma.
Thanksgiving in Rome

Thanksgiving in Rome

The final matches of calcio are being played, it’s finally starting to cool down and Thanksgiving is upon us at the JFRC.

Thanksgiving is a holiday traditionally spent at home with family and close friends. This year is the first year I, and I’m sure several other students, will not be at home celebrating with my family. Being in Rome for the holiday is bittersweet, but after reading the Chicago forecast from this week, it’s a bit more sweet than bitter.

In light of Thursday being Thanksgiving, I would like to share 10 things I am most thankful for (aside from studying abroad) in Rome:

1. My daily cornetto cioccolato and cappuccino from M&M.

2. Lasagna from Terra di Siena.


3. Three-day weekends.

4. Rinaldo’s Bar when Mensa is closed.

5. “Free Wi-Fi” signs on the doors of restaurants.

6. The walk from the Zone to campus—my legs look great this semester.

7. My calcio team—go celeste!


8. The SLAs for being so helpful and putting up with us all semester.

9. Fridgidarium for always being there for me.

10. My friends at the JFRC that have become family. Without them, Rome wouldn’t feel so much like home.


Ciao for now,


The Glass is Still Half Full

The Glass is Still Half Full

FOMO: Fear of missing out.

Many students abroad are from Chicago and die hard Cubs fans. The curse might finally be broken, and the Cubs might fulfill the ‘Back to the Future II’ prediction by winning the 2015 World Series. The problem is that there is a seven-hour time difference, so watching the games is a bit difficult.

The Cubs, among other things, are an example of FOMO being experienced at the Rome IMG_4232Center.

We’re halfway through the semester, FOMO is real and students are starting to miss home. Fall break is over; classes have resumed and the next break we have is Thanksgiving, a time typically spent with family and friends.

I am not one to get home sick, but it’s a completely normal thing to experience. This is not to say I don’t miss my family; I miss them dearly. However, I know that my family would not want me to be sitting in Rome homesick. They made sacrifices for me to be here, and I realize this. (Thanks, Mom and Dad.) That is why I am making the most of my time here.
Over fall break, several students participated on trips sponsored by Loyola to Greece and Poland. I took my own trip with a friend around most of Northern Europe to Barcelona IMG_4067(not north; I know), Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam and Berlin. The trip was one of the most exciting experiences I’ve ever had. I made all the travel plans myself, and it’s satisfying to know I can make it on my own.

I saw so many sights: the Eiffel Tower, the Berlin Wall, Manneken Pis, Sagrada Familia and more.

Living in Europe makes traveling through Europe so much easier to do. Domestic flights are usually not more than 100 euros and hostels are always cheap. Had I not studied abroad, I might not have ever made it to these places. I’m also learning things about myself and have made friendships that I’m sure will last a lifetime.

I am saddened to know that our time is half up, but we still have half way to go, and I’m looking at it from the “glass half full” perspective. You might get homesick, and that’s okay. IMG_4118Remember that you’re living abroad and having the experience of a lifetime. FOMO might be real, but I promise whatever you’re missing won’t compare to your time here.

These pictures don’t do the places and experience justice, but my hope is that it might encourage you to study abroad and take some trips too.

Ciao until next time,


Putting the “Study” in Study Abroad

Putting the “Study” in Study Abroad

Living abroad has without a doubt been the greatest experience of my short 20 years. I’ve had so many delicious meals, eaten more gelato than I will admit and am speaking fluent Italian. (Just kidding about the last one!)

Fall break, basically a 10-day vacation from our semester-long vacation, is just around the corner, and we’re all itching in our seats to catch our flights around the world. However, before we embark on those journeys, we have one last speed bump: midterm exams.

Everyone always talks about how exciting it is to study abroad, and it is, but they always leave out the “study” part. In addition to our weekend trips, late-night gelato runs and leisurely strolls through the city, we actually have a full schedule of classes. And they’re not all easy. Most of the courses here consist of a midterm, paper, final exam and maybe the occasional quiz. That means that these grades are heavily weighted into your final grade for the semester; therefore, it’s imperative to do well.

Like any exam, it’s important to spend enough time to study. This is much easier said than done, especially when Rome is your home. Here are a few tips I use to stay on track while studying abroad:
1. Set aside time every week to read and annotate the assigned readings. They may not seem important now, but when you have to site an author from the first week of class, it’s nice to have something to reference.
2. Plan ahead. Especially if you know you’re traveling over the weekend. You won’t do your IMG_3685homework on the way home; I promise. Get it done before you leave.

3. Form a study group. If you don’t understand the material, there’s likely someone in your class that does. You don’t want to do poorly on an exam because you didn’t understand the material. That could put a real damper on your time abroad.

4. Use a reward system. Homework can be tough to get through sometimes. Set benchmarks and rewards for yourself once you’ve completed each task. For example, treating yourself to your favorite gelato shop once you’ve finished the reading for one class.

Life in the Eternal City (Part II)

Life in the Eternal City (Part II)

We’ve been in Rome for a month now, and so far I’ve crushed grapes for wine with my feet, jumped out of an airplane over the Swiss Alps, attended a papal audience and eaten enough carbs to last a lifetime. It’s been wonderful, but some old habits are dying hard.


A typical day in Chicago would consist of waking up and walking down the street to the nearest Starbucks or coffee shop for an iced coffee with caramel. In Italy, I can do the same. Except I’m not walking to Starbucks, because Starbucks doesn’t have a presence in Italy. My order has also changed, and pumpkin spice lattes are not on the menu.

“Vorrei un caffè per favore” (I would like one coffee please) has become one of my favorite phrases. It’s also one of the few things I can say in Italian. The coffee culture in Italy is significantly different from that in the United States. Milk is frowned upon after noon. Ordering a cappuccino after then will not only get you strange looks it will also give away your nationality. Italians drink one cappuccino in the morning with breakfast — usually a small pastry— and then order espresso periodically throughout the day, including after dinner (which they eat at 8 p.m.).


Learning to navigate Rome is a bit of a challenge. Chicago is literally built on a grid, while Rome is pretty scattered. Students typically travel in groups, so getting lost is never terribly problematic. I would not recommend exploring on your own unless you know Rome like the back of your hand. If you don’t want to take my word for it, call the U. S. Embassy.

Lack of data has also played a role in the struggle of navigation; however, it gives you a more realistic feel of what Ancient Rome was like pre-Apple.

Classes have resumed, and it’s nice to be back on a schedule (unlike the public transportation of Rome). We’re all working to establish a healthy balance between studying and living abroad. I’ll let you know when I’ve mastered it.

Ciao until next time,


Life in the Eternal City

Life in the Eternal City

Well, we made it. Over 200 students from Loyola and across the country now reside at the John Felice Rome Center and call the Eternal City our home. (#blessed)

Living in a foreign country is something I’d only dreamed of, and frankly, it still feels like a bit of a dream. Each morning I wake up in Rome and experience something new: cappuccino at the bar, conversing with an Italian or having class at the Colosseum. Casual, right?


The first few days flew by, and to be honest, it wasn’t easy. Orientation was long, informative and at times a little boring. Homesickness is a very real feeling, and many students will experience it — that’s OK. Studying abroad will bring about many emotions. Living abroad will teach you so much, not only about the country you’re studying in, but also about yourself and life in general.

Here’s what I’ve learned thus far:

1. I know a lot more Spanish than I thought I did. Unfortunately, this I realized this because I am constantly confusing Spanish and Italian words.

2. “Bar” does NOT mean a place to go and binge drink. In Italy, a bar is a place to go and get your morning cappuccino or afternoon espresso.

3. Cute shoes are not the same as comfortable shoes. You’ll all hear someone tell you to bring comfortable shoes because you’ll be doing a lot of walking, and they’re telling the truth. I thought I could get by in the sandals I wear around at home and I have blisters the size of quarters. If you pack nothing else, bring comfortable shoes!

4. Life slows down. As a PR major, I’m constantly on my phone checking the latest news and staying up to date on what’s happening around the world. My phone only works when I’m on Wi-Fi now (which isn’t often), and it’s really not such a bad thing. Enjoy your time abroad away from typical distractions. Instagram can wait.

5. Punctuality doesn’t exist in Rome. Like I said, life slows down. No one is in a hurry to get things done. When dining out, meals typically take 2-3 hours, and they’ll never bring you the check without you asking for it. Also, the buses are rarely on time and come as they please. (We’ve waited hours and it never showed up.)

I still have a lot more to learn, and am excited to spend more time in Rome.

Stay tuned for more updates throughout my semester. Ciao! 🙂