My name is Faye and I am so excited to share my study abroad experience with you over the next couple of months!
A little bit about myself..
-I am a junior at Sacred Heart University
-My major is Communications with a concentration in Journalism
-I am in the sorority Zeta Tau Alpha where I am involved with our philanthropy which is Breast Cancer education and awareness
-I love running and have done two half marathons
-And I'm beyond ecstatic to be studying abroad this fall at John Cabot University in Rome!
When I first began to explore the options of the study abroad programs at school, I was very torn whether or not I should go because it was trip that was definitely out of my comfort zone. I was scared to leave my friends at school and I was also nervous to be so far away from my family. After having a meeting with the The Office of Global Affairs, I realized how much of an amazing experience this once in a life time opportunity could be. This sounds like a basic response from everyone who goes abroad, but that is because it is consistently true time and time again! Whenever someone would say to me, "This is going to be the best semester". I found it a bit cliché but it is not because there is really so much to do and look forward to once you are here.
After being accepted into the program, I started freaking out this summer about what to pack and what to expect about this program.
Something I definitely would suggest doing is speaking to previous study abroad students because hearing their input started to give me a feel on what to bring and what to except once I arrived in Rome. These previous students know exactly what to pack and had such helpful advice for me.
Something the previous students suggested to bring included...
-A camera of some sort
-Comfortable walking shoes (because there will be A LOT of walking)
-A rain jacket
-Some heavier clothes when it starts to get a little colder
-Something to wear over your shoulders to be able to tour the churches in Italy (It is a rule here!)
-Converter outlets for chargers
-To pack as lightly as possible
-And to buy the rest here
Although it would be okay to buy some familiar medicines at home, everything is here for us so they suggested for me to not over pack and buy things once I arrived in here.
Something every abroad student said that was very similar in their responses about what to expect once in Rome was that they had the most amazing experience of their life. This made me very excited and after only being here for two days, I can already start to see why. In these two days I have met my roommates who are from different countries, bonded with fellow classmates at Sacred Heart University that I otherwise would have not met, and broadened my horizons by exploring this beautiful country and discovering all new things!
So everything above is previous student’s advice but here is mine after exploring for two days here is mine!
When we first arrived here, I did not expect to be so jet lagged. It was very helpful to just relax the first day and make sure I got the right amount of sleep and drank enough water to keep myself hydrated in order to feel less tired and less jet lagged.
I also learned it is very important to stay organized because there are many things that always need to be kept with you at all times such as a copy of your passport, visa, and health card.
Something else I discovered was when we were walking around the first day, it seemed as through no one was around. When we were walking around at night; Italy was a different place. People were outside enjoying themselves, and there was so many cute little restaurants with lights outside! This was the first time I felt a little shocked. When we found a cute little restaurant for ourselves the people of Italy really appreciated that we were trying to speak their language. Although it seems that everyone speaks English, it is still a nice and touch to try to speak Italian in order to show them we are respectful towards their culture. (Plus it's fun to speak a different language!) Because of how happy they are that we are trying to speak Italian, they would help us out Italian words when we would mess up. Due to this, we have already picked up a few words in these couple of days! So far, we have been having tours of the school here, doing some site seeing, and eating as much gelato as humanly possible. It is definitely true that the food is amazing here but don't worry, you'll be walking off every carb with all the touring that is done here!
Everyone who decided to go abroad is ready to make friends, friendly, and personable so it is easy to get along with new friends. Everyone I have met so far is warm and welcoming. It almost feels like freshman year again because everyone is alone in the same boat and trying to make friends! I was so worried to go alone but the people here have taken that fear away very quickly for me.
Everything I wrote about above has been from two days of being here so I can not wait to see what the next four months will bring!
This weekend, I will be exploring Rome, and within the next week I will be starting class and blogging about what the day in the life of an Italian study abroad student includes!!!