Please check back soon to read the blogs of our Spring 2015 Italy Study Abroad student, Natalie!
Hello again from Rome! Cannot believe these last couple of days here are approaching at such a fast rate. Studyng Abroad, I know for all of us, has been an experience of a life time that none of us will forget. The amount of traveling and cultural experience we had contact with is something that many never get the chance of having. This all would not have been possible if it was not for the continuous support all of us have gotten from both our parents, the Study Abroad office at Sacred Heart and John Cabot University. From all of us studying at Rome, I just wanted to say THANK YOU for all you have done for us.
Many of us right now are studying for our finals during our final days here! You will see a lot of JCU students in cafe's working on papers, study guides, group projects and other final work. The cafe atmosphere makes it relaxing and enjoyable to do work. I would definently recommend coming to PIMMS GOOD in Trastevere for those intending on traveling to Rome or studying here at JCU. This place will always be apart of my life. I am even currently here writing. When becoming a regular in places in Rome, the workers and owners look at you like family. As many of us are getting sad about leaving, so are the business owners we have all come to know. Italy concentrates on its concept of family. Leaving them will be harder then the concept of leaving Italy.
Rome is slowly, a day at a time, turning into a Christmas Wonderland. The streets are light up in all festive colors at night, which makes this already goregous environment look 1000 times more fabulous. The weather has slowly became chiller the past couple of weeks, but even with that, I do not know how I am going to survive in the colder east coast atmosphere! We have been very very spoiled with the warmer climate here! It is the little things here in Rome I am going to miss the most. Many of us HATED the cobble stone grounds when we first arrived, but everytime we traveled it was the first thing we missed. This country has become apart of us.
Rome has become a home factor. This country has opened its arms wide open with exceptance and offered us one of the most amazing experiences. We have been spoiled endlessly with the amazing foods here. I do not know what I am personally going to do with all the tradional plates here and of course the homemade pasta! Returning home for some may be one of the hardest things we will have to do. Even writing this has created a knot in my stomach just thinking about the idea of leaving. We have all grown here tramdeniously and some have completed dreams they have dreamt about for years. I never really understood how a place could change someone, but being here I can honestly say it has changed my outlook on life!
Once again, Thank you to all of you who have made this amazing experience possible for all of us!
Ciao from Rome,
These last couple of weeks here in Europe have been nothing but pure perfection. Many of us continued our travels and went to places like: Greece, Barcelona, Amsterdam, and Paris. As we are coming to an end here many of us here abroad have been traveling as much as possible before heading back to the States! It is sad to think that this amazing adventure is close to being over!
As most of you will be celebrating Thanksgiving this weekend, many of the students from SHU will be traveling. John Cabot gave us the day off on Thursday to do as we please to celebrate the Holiday in our own ways. Now my roomates and I were planning this huge Thanksgiving dinner, but there is one big issue. Where in the world do we find a turkey! Things like going to the super market and getting a perfect turkey for the family, just is not a thing here. How crazy is that! So it looks like a lot of homemade mashed potatoes and chicken will be served on Thanksgiving here in Italy!
PASTA PASTA PASTA! how could I forget the pasta! While traveling around the world, all me and my roommates could time about was being back in Rome with a huge dish of fresh pasta. Now many ask, is the food as good as everyone says? YES. what do you get when you come to italy? PASTA! Within all of these posts I havent really mentioned anything about food! In the area Trastevere, in which John Cabot is located, they are known for there pizza and prime italian dishes. Now in the states we think of pizza as this 8 piece circle, cut and cooked to perfection. In Italy it is very different. The best type of pizza is the square flatt bread. They cut the slices to order, which makes it fresh for every customer. They do not have pizza where you can order it ahead of time and pick it up. It simple is first come, first serve basis. I have to say, if you visit this area or come abraod here, there seasonal Pumpkin pizza is simple AMAZING!
I have no idea where the time here in Rome has went! Many say that it seems like a life time being away from home, but honestly this cobbled stone providence is truly starting to feel like home and it is so sad that it is almost done! For those students thinking about going abroad and are struggling with the concept of time away from family and friends, forget that. This is an opportunity of a life time, and time is your best friend. You tend to start wishing for more as time continues.
Within in the next coouple of weeks I will be posting my final posts! If anyone has any questions do not hesitiate to contact me !
Ciao From Rome!
The Roman adventures continue! Many of the students studying here have extended their travels. Recently, I had the pleasure of doing a wine tasting tour around Tuscany. Tuscany is an area I cannot put into words, and let me tell you, pictures DO NOT do it justice! The landscape of Tuscany is simply a scenery I personally am never going to forget. Others abroad here have recently been to Germany, for Oktoberfest, France, Barcelona and soon to be London. Being in all of these different countries and personally being able to be apart of all of these important cultural areas is something that us, as students are never going to forget.
Being abroad is an opportunity that I believe every student should take advantage of. Sacred Heart gives the most amazing advantage of doing so, and students should take full pride in that. Coming here, I was definitely spectacle of the environment I was going to be in. Let me tell you, Home sick is not a word used here. The amount of things to do is precisely endless. What is a better time then college to explore the world and gain access to a demographic background most Americans will never experience? Were growing as students and being abroad gives the advantage of learning all of these traits and life lessons along our way to adulthood.
Back to Rome. Rome itself is a beautiful place to be. Being here, you’re within one of the most important cities in Europe. Everything is mainly in walking distance, which gives us as students, who are trying to spare some money, a brake. Things definitely move different here. For instance, Time does not exist here in Rome. Not literally, but do not expect a lot of things to be on time besides class; like public transportation. But then at the same time it’s amazing. We get to simply move throughout our day without having a scheduled means of being places. I guess you can look at it like being a scavenger. You go for a walk and get lost in the city, and then a second later you can be at the Collosium. Some issues that many think about while being abroad is communication. Italians here speak a lot of English. I definitely recommend taking Italian while here, but many can get away with not doing so. After a while the language sneaks up on you and become a norm. You can order a coffee, not even realizing your doing it Italian. Everyday you learn something new here and that is something that purely gets you excited for the days to come.
Below you will find some pictures of some of the recent trips and the Gorgeous city of Rome! Sorry this post was so late, the realization of living in this divine city takes over and sometimes it things you just cannot put into words! Pictures themselves explain everything.
Tuscany,Italy (with:Alissa Giansant, Alyssa Labarbera, Sydney Basile, Valentina DeSantis, and Myself)
(Munich, Germany With: Dario Pugliano, Joe Massaro, John Craig, Brian Breslin and Myself)
(Piazza Navona, Rome, Italy)
( NotreDam In France With: John Craig, Joe Massaro, Dario Pugliano; representing our own Kappa Sigma)
(Barcelona, Spain With: Kaitlyn VosWinkel)
So sorry I haven't published in a while, but we have all been getting settled in our classes and getting to know our surrounding areas. The experience at hand has been nothing I can describe in words, but having to I would say utterly AMAZING. Starting classes has given us as students a whole new insight of the concept of international culture and living. The professors are key to this experience. Many of them come from around the world and share real life stories that only better our understanding of the business world. Personally, I am a double major in both Marketing and Business Administration with a minor in Fashion Merchandising. I know this sounds like a lot, but being here as a business student within the least helps to open those doors wide open to a whole new band of industries that are not recognized indepth within the US. Classes here are much smaller than at Sacred Heart, but professors take that to an advantage. They make one-on-one with all their students and get to know them personally. They're here to make our experiennce something we as students will never forget.
Our living conditions here are pristine. Personally, I am living in Gianicolo, which is located in a part of Rome called Trastevere. We live in apartments that basically resemble the accomidations you would find in both North and Scholar Commons. It is a home-y environment and is filled with all study abroad students, so you get the chance to meet a lot of new students from places around the world. Trastevere itself is known here in italy as "Movida Romana", which means Night Life in English. Italians have a different perspective of night life than Americans. Trastevere is known for the best restaurants, and many individuals will go to a late dinner and sit for hours enjoying a night out. At night, the streets are lit up and it is truly goregous to see. Like stated in my last post, the area we live in is known as one of the most elaborate areas within Rome, and walking down the streets everyday to class you truly gain an understanding of that.
Going abroad gives students the opportunity of a lifetime to travel to different areas within Europe and different countries in general. Many SHU students have gotten the chance to already visit places like the Amalfi Coast, Capri, Naples (Pompei), Positano and Croatia. Many will soon be visiting places like Germany, Prague, Barcelona, London, Paris, Greece and so many more! Below you will see some pictures of the places we have visted already including pictures from Rome! Each week I will try to upload pictures of the places we have visted!
Being in Rome has been an amazing experience so far! Only being here for a week, many of us have already learned a cultural differences, that we will all live with for a lifetime. The location in which many of the Sacred Heart University students live is known as one of the most glorious and precious places to live within Europe, let alone Italy! Classes have officially started here and are going great so far! Even though back in the States everyone was celebrating a long Labor Day weekend, we began our John Cabot University educational experience. All of the professors invite their students in with open arms and are ready to make our experience one of a lifetime.
My last week in Rome for the semester was filled with a beach day in Ostia and lots and lots of studying and packing. My last Friday was beautiful and 70 degrees, so a few of us took advantage of this weather and headed to the beach. The rest of the week was a blur between papers, studying, finals, packing, and my friend coming to visit for the last few days. Saturday and Sunday I spent at Friends café and at the Tiber campus preparing for my finals. Sunday was one of the busiest days in Rome with two past popes becoming Saints with two living popes present at the canonization. Vatican city was so busy and I stayed away from it all, as cool as it would have been to be there the commotion I went to East Mass the week before and that was perfect enough for me. Monday I had two finals, then one Tuesday and my last one on Friday. When I wasn’t studying or organizing all my things I was out in Rome.
My friend arrived in Rome Wed and I had till Friday evening to show her around. So nice to see her again, but definitely got me anxious to go home… Last week we tried new restaurants like Alfredo’s, which is where the original fettuccini Alfredo was created. The original is just butter and Parmesan cheese. When they bring it out to you the cheese is on top and they mix it all up in front of you, a little lighter then our version but still extremely delicious. As the week went on people started to leave and it began to hit us that our Roman vacation is over. Even though I will be back here in August it wont be the same. And the fact that it wont be the same hit me really hard when we were out for our last night with all our friends. We stayed out with everyone till closing and said our sad goodbyes, and see you laters. Saturday morning my roommates were getting ready to head to the airport and I headed to my friends to spend what I thought was my last night in Rome.
We spent our last true day in the eternal city in Villa Borghese on bikes and walking around the city for hours, taking everything in that we could. For dinner we tried to go to a few of our favorite restaurants around Trastevere but everything was booked, and then we stumbled upon this pizzeria that was hidden from the tourists and college students. The pizza was so thin and they made everything out in the open so you could watch. After that we headed for one drink and then back to bed before waking up for our long long long journey home. Rome just didn’t want Jessie and I to leave Sunday, so after a few plane delays and a cancellation we officially missed our connecting flight to Boston and were brought to a hotel. My luggage really didn’t want to leave and got to spend two extra nights in Rome.
But finally 40-hours later I flew over the coast of Maine, and landed in Boston where my parents were anxiously waiting for me. We cleared customs in Dublin and I didn’t have any luggage so I just walked off the plane to find my parents, grabbed a Dunkin Donuts iced coffee, and a Poland Springs water (water never tasted so good) and headed to the car. Tuesday morning when I woke up in my bed I literally thought that I had woken up from a dream. I cannot thank my family for the support and opportunity enough to let me have the most amazing experiences as well as push me to go back and accomplish even more. These past four months were by the far the best, I met so many people with different outlooks on life, I lived and will continue to live in a different culture that is so diverse, I was reunited with my family in my favorite city, and I got to see and do things I could and have only dreamed of. The next years will be different, and I have no idea what to expect, all I know is that I’m absolutely petrified in the most exciting, nerve racking way, and I can not wait to see what happened. I can honestly say that my decision to study abroad for four months was the best decision I have every made, and has changed my life and how I look at people and the world. Thank you for reading and following my four-month journey through Europe, and hopefully you can follow my next two years too! And Rome ill see you soon!
Thank you for reading, ciao!
My lease is signed and security deposit is paid its official, ill be moving back to Rome at the end of August and into my first big girl apartment! I could not be more nervous, scared, and excited! It’s the best feeling in the entire world, and ill never be able to thank my family enough. I am a total believer in signs showing up in your life to deliver a message or validate your choices. And it wasn’t that I was doubting my decision, but I was starting to get a little nervous, and then when I went to sign my papers there were three signs that made me realize this was the best decision and to go for it. The first sign was that my landlords name is Dante, the second was my address is Via Giacomo Venezian, and the third was that the person who helped us with the apartments uncle was the manager of the Bubble Room in Captiva. Some of you reading this may not understand why all those connections are important to me. So to start: Dante is also my BABY brother’s name. Second Giacomo was my grandfather’s name, and third the Bubble Room is a restaurant with the best cake, which is in Captiva (my favorite place to go with my family). So having those signs was definitely a comfort.
This past Friday Katharine and I decided to get out of town considering tourist season has sprung and it was Easter weekend. We hopped on the 10:30 am train to Orvieto, to spend the day in a small town about 1-hr and 45-min outside of Rome. On the train we met a girl studying abroad in Rome through another program; she was traveling alone for the day so we invited her to join us. Once we got off the train we found this other train/ bus that went up to the top where the town of Orvieto is. We spent the day roaming around the little medieval town. The town was full of little streets, with shops, and restaurants. The church also has a famous church called the Duomo. We followed the signs and when we got to the Duomo we found a nice little surprise…a chocolate show! It was a line of tent after tent full of different chocolate, and other Easter treats. They had everything from chocolate tools, cameras, shoes, animals, cannolis…etc. After we indulged in our chocolate we walked inside the church, and then went to find lunch. We found a little restaurant and got pizza and white wine (white wine is what Orvieto is known for). After that we strolled the streets, went shopping, and I grabbed some fresh tortellini’s to bring back for dinner.
Saturday was a nice lazy rainy day in Rome; we woke up and went to pick up our Easter tickets at the Vatican, and went to the market and bakery to grab some treats for brunch. Sunday we were up and out of our room by 6:00 am to head to the Vatican, we waited in line for almost 2-hrs before we were allowed in. Waiting in line for Easter mass at the Vatican was just as crazy as waiting for the Beyoncé concert this past winter…Crazy. We were there nice and early and were able to have seats. Being at the Vatican with the Pope and the million of others was absolutely amazing. Just looking back and seeing the streets filled with people was incredible, definitely an experience. One thing I have noticed being in Europe is that back home we make a bigger deal with our holidays. After mass we came back to our room and Deirdre whipped up some French toast and we enjoyed a nice little brunch with her mom and sister. After brunch we cleaned up and took a little nap before walked around and it was time for dinner. It was so nice to spend the day with Deirdre and her family, it made it seem more like a holiday then I thought it would. Three days of classes, one presentation, four finals, a lot of food and wine to indulge in before its time to come home.
Ciao, thanks for reading,
I enjoyed a wonderful relaxing, lazy weekend in Rome after my weekend in Munich. My roommates went to go explore the Amalfi Coast, and I caught up on sleep, homework, and friends that I haven’t seen with all the go go go travel we have all been doing. I love traveling but having my own quiet weekend here in this city was exactly what I needed. We are almost at the end and the term papers, and presentations are all around the corner (tomorrow, next week). When I took a breather last week from writing papers, going to class, and group projects, I went wandering around the city with some friends to check a few things off the list.
Tuesday Jessie, Brogan and I wandered off to find this garden on top if Gianicolo Hill. The weather here has been beautiful, so we are trying to take advantage of it. That night we met up again but with a bigger group and tried a new restaurant around the corner. It’s hitting us all that our Roman holidays are soon to be over, and we have so little time so much to eat! Going out to dinner here is so relaxed, you can sit at the table as long as you want, and they don’t really rush you here.
Wednesday Carly and I finally found our home away from home for next year! The fresh food market will be outside my door every day, and I’m only a 7-min walk max, from both campuses. I can relax a little now that I am done apartment searching and can enjoy my last few weeks.
Brogan, and Jessie have been going on and on about this meat and cheese store that make paninos. For any guy that says all women are good for are making sandwiches are wrong, because I had the best sandwich and it was made by a man. When we first walked in you could just smell everything from the meats, cheeses, pizzas, and breads; as soon as they saw us we were offered to try the traditionally roman salami. Immediately sold I told Brogan I’d split anything she wanted; this is the typical Italian establishment where you tell them to make you what ever they want, and its usually the best thing you have ever had. We all got something different but equally as delicious. Our sandwich consisted on the pizza bread, salami, pistachio cheese, artichokes, and sundried tomatoes. The do everything my weight here, so they cut all the salami, and laid it out, then the cheese…etc. Our mouths were watering but we waited (well most of us) until we got to a park where to sit down. After our little picnic we headed to the keyhole where you can see Saint Peters Basilica, and then to the orange grove to hangout and enjoy a beautiful view of the city.
Friday was the start of our last weekend trip of the semester. We caught our 7:57 am train to La Spezia Central. After this 4-hour train ride we hopped onto a local rail for a quick 8-min ride to Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre. Katharine, Georgia, Kendra, and immediately fell in love when we got off the train and right there was the ocean. We took the scenic rout to our hostel, just to find out we should of gone left and not right off the train, oh well its not like we had a bad view on our way to find the main street. After checking in we put on our bathing suits grabbed some lunch and headed to the beach. The beaches here are much different, lots of rocks, but still breath taking. We only could handle laying out for about 2-hours, and we all managed to get some color, some of us more evenly then others… The town is mostly all on this one main street, with take away and a few restaurants to choose from. After dinner we went to a bar and split a “big” mojito, it was a mojito in a bucket and 5 euro a person, and the make it based on how many people. After sitting there and soaking up the wifi we headed to the room and enjoyed some wine and cookies before calling it a night.
Saturday we hiked through the open trails of Cinque Terre that consisted of the towns of Corniglia, Veranzza, and ending in Monterosso. About 8 miles later, we landed at our beach town destination, where we grabbed some lunch and a beer before hitting the beach. By then in was almost 4:00pm and getting chilly so we weren’t beach bums for long before heading back to Riomaggiore. On the train we met a few student from Vienna, and thank god we did because the informed us of the train strike that was happening the following day, when we all had to travel. Luckily our train to Rome was still on, we just couldn’t use any of the regional trains connecting the 5 towns to La Spezia, and it was an easy fix with a cab. Sunday was the day we dedicated to the beach, but it was rainy and chilly, so instead we restaurant hopped until it was time to head home.
Cinque Terre was everything I imagined it to be an look forward to going back! It was nice and relaxing to me in a little town by the water with out any hustle and bustle at all times. Its hard to believe my Roman holiday as a study abroad student is over, and even crazier that I have signed a lease to come back in three months. Time to buckle down and get this work down and enjoy the eternal city with the friends I have here now.
Thanks for reading, ciao!