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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.

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