“Rome” Is Where The Heart Is
Layah, Rome, Spring 2016
May 2, 2016

I have bitter-sweet feelings about heading back home because I know how much I’m going to miss this beautiful city of Rome..really though, I’m going to miss the gelato and cappuccino’s so much! I also know I’m going to miss traveling a few hours in any direction and landing in a new country with a different language and culture! What a life!

Layah W - Spring 16 - Florence

My gorgeous and incredible roommates this semester! Thanks for being awesome!

Rome. What to say? Che bella citta! Studying abroad here not only gave me a new sense of wonder at the country and its people but also allowed me to grow in all the extraordinary experiences I had, both good and bad. Either in my own host city, or out exploring parts of Europe, I was forced to constantly learn languages, navigation techniques, and rapidly adapt to my new environment. I felt myself becoming quite experienced at problem-solving and ending up laughing or crying or both when I found myself 5 miles to the left of my original plan. I managed to get trapped in one-too-many train station gates, locked out of our Airbnb in Paris, and had to deal with Ryanair a few times, but all the strange events that happened helped to create the colorful memories of my journey.

Layah W - Spring 16 - Florence

Me and cotton candy when we stumbled upon a carnival in Romania!

Layah W - Spring 16 - Florence

Silhouette and the beautiful sunset in Howth, Ireland

Layah W - Spring 16 - Florence

One of the many fantastic pizzas that I came across in Rome

All this was what made studying abroad so amazing. I’ve stepped out of my comfort-zone more times than I can count, and I’m so grateful for those opportunities and for the awesome friends I made along the way to step out there with me!

From this experience, I’ve gained more knowledge about the different ways I can apply my Global Business major, and now I have a really good idea of what it would be like to uproot from my home to and come live in Europe long-term! (We’ll see)

Layah W - Spring 16 - Florence - gelato

I will be lost without my favorite Pistachio gelato from Gelateria del Teatro 

The goals I had before this trip like experiencing new and interesting cultures, and feeling capable in the Italian language absolutely played themselves out while abroad. I see positive changes like an improved confidence and assurance of myself especially when it comes to communicating with people of a different language (I can now order almost anything and ask questions in Italian without a worry!)

Layah W - Spring 16 - Florence

Me huggin’ it out with my buddy the Leaning Tower of Pisa! 

If I could say one thing to encourage those of you who are thinking or planning of studying abroad, especially in Rome, I’d say you’re going to absolutely love it! The food, the personalities, the language and the adventures all make up a part of the story you’ll be sharing the rest of your life. Take risks, embrace the unknown and just go for it. You won’t regret it!


Layah is a current student at Point Loma Nazarene University studying at John Cabot University in Rome, Italy during the Spring 2016 term.

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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.