The GoGlobal Blog

“Italy in the Spring is so warm,” they said

“Italy in the Spring is so warm,” they said

Benvenuto! I have survived almost an entire month in this beautiful foreign land and I have lots to share about the weather, the people, and most importantly- to me at least, the food. Though arriving here was a story to be told in itself, I’ve already made a home away from home atop the hill locals call Balduina, otherwise known as the “stairclimber” that houses the John Felice Rome Center. However you chose to stumble upon my page, I welcome you! Please stay, take a seat, make a snack-or two and pour a cup (of coffee) because I tend to write more than I actually talk in person. Obviously, I have lots to say during this new experience in my life, so I am so very happy you came to join in a little piece of my study abroad story that I choose to share with you.

GETTING HERE: My trip to the John Felice Rome Center was anything but ordinary. Choosing to fly without a group to a hemisphere of the world that I’ve never been to actually wasn’t the hardest part of my trip. It was, in fact the weather. Thank the Heavens for unpredictable Midwestern weather that caused Chicago int’l airport to limit all flights in bound and outbound to 2 lanes due to wind-yes, wind… gotta love the MidWest. This caused a plethora of cancelations including my flight to Chicago which is where I was to connect to London then on to Italy. Four delayed hours later, a grande iced coffee from Starbucks (which I had no idea would be my last…), and a few nervous sweats later I found myself on a flight to Chicago and on a rescheduled overnight flight to London. In London I met the nicest English people who showed me the European version of “Southern Hospitality” by giving me free food and coffee after I stress ranted to random strangers after they caught me staring up from my book… not sorry about it. And though I found myself enjoying listening to the soft whispers of many accents while in London, it was a strange and new relief to had finally made it to my final destination in Rome, Italy 3 airborne  hours later.

BEING HERE: When you’re first introduced to study abroad you think of all the luxuries you’ll experience while in another country. New people, new places, so much to see and experience. They however, do not share with you how to overcome the ever confusing language-speed barrier… I’m slowly getting through it with Italian 101 knowledge (and without a curling iron, because Google Translate does not tell you the various responses a hair salon can give you after you simply ask for “un ferro arriciacappelli”) or the drastic difference in transportation (public transit is everyone’s friend, except in Italy where it takes 45 minutes for your “arriving” bus to get to the stop) BUT that’s the point, right? I didn’t travel across the world to expect things to be exactly like America. Nonetheless, things take time getting used to and I’m all for it- give it to me, Italy!

Getting the opportunity to travel around the Eastern Hemisphere alone was something that really attracted me to applying for this program. I’ve always considered myself a soloist or at least someone who is perfectly content with being independent. But I didn’t realize how much “alone” time I would have until the first week when I found out that most, if not all people came here with a group of friends. As a Psychology major I know that people need established relationships in order to thrive. And though I love being alone it was a hard transition when I didn’t know many people. Like all new things though, I knew that people would be in the same boat as me, so I wasn’t completely discouraged to find fish just like me (ha ha). To make a long story short, I found some wonderful people– very deserving the long story, but will save for later– who love donuts as much as I do, pump coffee as much as I do, and listen to music that I figured nobody else cared for (WOW, the world works in strange ways, right?)

((I THIINK It’s always important to remember that no matter what you’re feeling, someone is also experiencing the same thing. So I urge you to have the courage to find them, share some food– in my case, pizza at a touristy restaurant- and be you… as complicated as it may all sound, it gets quite easy to discuss over a meal.))

This entire month has been jam packed with new experiences, some very hard, others so exciting and new, but I wouldn’t change it. As cheesy as it all sounds, the reality is that transition is tough, but we all need to do it- and I did! I can now truthfully text my mom that, “I’m okay” (she’s been worried, as you can imagine sending her golden child across the pond). I’ve now made a new home on a hill and the start has been 1) very cold outside, 2) full of endless bottles of wine (do as the Romans do -at dinner- right?), and 3) ready for me to take full advantage of the scenery, the culture, and the food, oh my, the food.

As my study abroad life continues, I will update this blog for all who can tolerate my run-on sentences. I hope each time you leave my page with some words of wisdom- or a laugh or two (laughing is good). We all need something to look forward to- so I’m looking forward to seeing you soon!

Here are a “few” pictures from Orientation weekend here at the JFRC to the coast of Italy. Enjoy and Arrivederci!

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