Ciao Roma
Christina, SAI Ambassador, 2019
June 27, 2019

What was your favorite class abroad and why?
I took an Intercultural Communications class at JCU. This class compared the culture in the U.S. to Italy as well as other parts of the world. In the beginning this class really highlighted the differences in Rome compared to the U.S. which helped when getting comfortable and adjusting. The variety of students in the class expanded the comparison even more, having students from all over the world! I left the class wanting to travel to so many new places.

One of my favorite parts along the Tiber River!

What is your most memorable interaction with a local in your host city?
I made a friend in one of my classes who had lived in Rome her whole life and at the end of the semester she invited me to a dinner with her family and friends. We went to a really nice restaurant and there were about 10 of us. The meal was 3 hours long and we ate so much food! It was a little intimidating because they all spoke Italian and some of their table manners seemed different, but we had a lot of fun comparing the cultures, laughing, and sharing funny stories. By the end of dinner I really felt like I fit in!

Lunch on a day trip to Orvieto, Italy! We loved the little town and I was lucky enough to go with a friend who was visiting from the U.S.

What was your favorite thing to do in your host city?
My roommate and I would love to go on runs along the Tiber River and then go and get coffee after! The river is beautiful and a great place to people watch. Some days I would lose track of time and walk so far down the river that I would have no idea where I was and have a long walk back!

The first trip SAI took us on was to a winery! This is when we got to meet everyone in the program and I got to spend time with the girls I was living with.

What travel tips would you give someone studying abroad?
If you are confused, most people do speak English and will help you! Make sure to have your tickets downloaded on your phone ahead of time or printed out because sometimes you won’t have service, and if you are traveling by train don’t accept anyone’s help unless you know they work there! We had someone help us and they ended up not working there and begging us for money afterwards.

SAI also took us on a weekend trip to Abruzzo. We stopped and had an amazing fish lunch out on a dock. A lot of it was very exotic and new and it was so fun to all try it together.

What advice do you have for new study abroad students?
Remember that this experience is new for EVERYONE! Try and adjust to the culture and lifestyle you are living in and attend all of the events that your program and school have! There are really cool events that teach you all about the city and the culture and you meet other people through them. My favorite event was the cooking class! I still make the recipes for my family and friends at home!

One of my favorite places in Rome was Piazza Navona. It has an amazing fountain and chapel. We loved to walk around the Piazza at night, get some gelato, and see all the performers.

Christina was a fall 2019 SAI Rome student from Saint Mary’s College of California.

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About SAI

SAI is dedicated to providing academic and cultural learning experiences abroad that enhance global awareness, professional development and social responsibility. We concentrate our programs in Europe, with a focus on in-depth learning of individual European countries and their unique global role in the geopolitical economy, humanities, and in the arts.