SAI caught up with SAI Ambassador Kajal, who took the time to answer some questions about her memorable semester in Rome.
What does your study abroad experience mean to you?
My study abroad experience was absolutely life-changing in the best ways possible. I learned so much in that one semester alone outside of a classroom than my entire college experience has been able to give me. Aside from academics, I learned all about perspectives from all different kinds of people you interact with on a daily basis. I learned about independence and I got an opportunity to discover myself in a different setting. I met some of my best friends, that I still keep in touch with regularly. Studying abroad taught me about the world beyond the world that I was so used to, pushed me out of my comfort zone, and helped me come back to America with so much knowledge and experience I would not have been able to find anywhere else.
What was your favorite class abroad and why?
My favorite class was Health Psychology offered at John Cabot University. My professor and his passion for psychology really made it the experience that it was. I learned a lot about how to manage stress and apply these concepts to my daily life in order to live a happier life with healthier habits.
What was your favorite thing to do in your host city?
My favorite thing to do in my host city, Rome, Italy, was explore the city. You never know what you are destined to find every corner that you turn. You could stumble upon ruins that are older than America, or even the most intricately detailed fountains or sculptures. Even the parks that locals exercise in have so much beauty. Rome is the most picturesque city I have gotten to experience. Meeting local Italians was also among one of my favorite things to do; there’s so much more than what meets the eye!
What did you learn about your host country that surprised you?
The fact that Alfredo sauce is not actually Italian is what surprised me the most. But, no worries, it’s hard to find a dish that you won’t like—or at least for me, it was. Italian food is the best in the world!
Kajal was an SAI Rome spring 2018 student from the University of Mississippi.