Appreciate What's Around You
Grace, Spring 2024, Rome
March 28, 2024

Villa Borghese has become one of my favorite places to take things slow and appreciate Rome’s beauty.

I’ve dreamed of coming to Rome for years. Yet, upon my arrival, I have been swept up in the excitement of traveling, making friends (and travel buddies), and seeing new places and cultures, that I have overlooked the wonders around me in this gorgeous city.
I was overly ambitious at the beginning of my study abroad, planning trips for every weekend, sneaking in day trips on days off from class. Two months into the semester, this has left me with many rich experiences of visiting different countries such as Hungary, Switzerland, France and the Netherlands. I have been able to explore many different parts of Italy, including Milan, Naples, Viterbo, Tivoli, Florence, Pisa, Turin, Bracciano, and San Felice Cicero. They have all been more amazing than I can describe.

Yet, I still have a regret. I have spent no weekends in Rome. No weekends soaking in the incredible atmosphere of a Saturday basking in Rome’s sun, no Sunday spent rifling through clothes at vintage markets. No time to simply take in the beauty and brilliance of the city I have dreamed of living in for years.

“Stop and smell the roses.” You can find little beautiful things all around you simply by walking down the streets of Rome.

Although it is exciting to explore new cities and experience a new environment, there is abundant value in being content where one is. There is wealth by taking a semester abroad slower and taking in the city a student has decided to study in. By spending weekends in Rome, I will better be able to connect with this city, better get to know its culture and people, and simply enjoy the Italian life in which I have dreamed of taking a part of during my study abroad experience.

To students studying abroad, I have some simple advice: there is great importance in appreciating where you are. Appreciate what is around you.

When taking a walk along the Tiber river along the path, I have found so many amazing things about Rome. On bridges such as these I’ve found beautiful street music being played, and along the Tiber river I have found people extremely content resting on Tiber Island.

I advise students, such as myself, who study in Rome to recognize the brilliance of Rome. Visit beautiful places such as Villa Borghese. Dance to music being played on the street. Sunbathe on Tiber Island drinking a spritz.
Study abroad students should of course be encouraged to travel and see new places. However, students should also be recommended to spend adequate time in the city of their study abroad, and enjoy their time in that city.

Appreciate the beauty of where you are. Take things slow. Simply enjoy what’s around you.

Written by: Grace, Spring 2024 Rome student from Baylor University

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