A Summer Abroad in Rome
Jackson, Summer 2024, Rome
June 28, 2024

If you’re thinking about studying abroad, do it. It will be one of the best decisions you make in your college career. Even though I took a five week semester abroad, I got all the experiences I needed and wanted. Not to be cliche, but it is completely life changing. If you can, study abroad in Rome, as it is a great combination of Italian and western culture.
My semester included two, three credit hour classes. One of them was Renaissance Rome and its monuments, and the other was fluid mechanics. Renaissance Rome met Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. until 12:45 p.m. Fluid Mechanics was Monday through Thursday from 1:30 p.m. to 3:20 p.m. So, a lot of class time, right? But the classes go through so much material, and the professors are amazing enough that the time just flies by.

My Renaissance Rome and its Monuments class was an on-site class. So, we walked to whichever artwork or monument we were analyzing that day and were able to see it up close. Usually I’m not a huge fan of art history classes, but the fact that I was living right next to Renaissance art made the class so interesting and fun. My professor, Alexis Culotta, was very knowledgeable on this topic and provided a lot of very cool facts. It was almost like I was on a tour every Tuesday and Thursday. If you’re thinking about what kind of class you should take, take one of these classes that have a small on-site fee. This guarantees that you’ll be able to explore the city that you are in, in my case, Rome, through the school instead of by yourself. I mean, you should always explore the city by yourself, but it is nice to have a guided tour.

On weekends, I explored other cities than Rome. This included Naples, Sorrento, the Amalfi Coast, Cinque Terre, and Pisa. I would recommend traveling outside of the country that you are studying in so you can get as many experiences as possible during the time that you are in Europe. What you could also do, which is what I am doing, is travel after the program. This allows you to spend more time in the places you want.

SAI’s Viva Experiences also provided some nice time to find a community abroad and make new friends. Overall, taking advantage of organized trips and exploring independently can give you a well-rounded experience during your time abroad. Additionally, participating in local events and activities can help immerse you in the culture and create lasting memories. Engaging with the local community and trying new things will enhance your overall experience and provide a deeper understanding of the culture. Making an effort to step out of your comfort zone and embrace new opportunities will truly enrich your time abroad. Overall, SAI has made this semester so easy and so fun for me and has been the best decision I’ve made in college.

Written by: Jackson, Summer 2024 Student from Rochester Institute of Technology


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