What was your favorite thing to do in your host city?
As you can imagine, Rome is a city to be awed and enjoyed! Whether it be getting gelato as study breaks or running along the Tiber River to Vatican City, you will never be bored. With that being said, one of my favorite things to do is having a picnic with my roommates in Giardino delgi Aranci, an orange tree garden overlooking the Roman never-ending skyline. We would grab wine to eat and fruit, mozzarella & tomatoes, and chips to snack on while enjoying each other’s company, the simplicity of a picnic, and the Roman atmosphere. It was a dream come true.
What is your favorite memory from studying abroad?
I loved studying and doing homework on the terrace of my host university, John Cabot University. The view was so beautiful that schoolwork didn’t feel like work. I have always have the colorful Roman architecture—arching warm yellow, light pink, subtle blue, and soft green buildings with uniform tan roofing—ingrained into my memory. The weather in Rome was immaculate—the warm sun combined with the chilling wind sun made it a perfect sunny day. In moments like that, I felt so much peace and contentment of where I was and witnessed how Rome is truly breathtaking and timeless.
What travel tips would you give someone studying abroad?
For me, I find joy in adapting to new cultures and connecting with others of different personalities and backgrounds. With that being said, I recommend learning the basics of the language of whatever country you are studying in/traveling to! Saying basic phrases such as “hello,” “how are you,” and “thank you,” in the local language allows you to dip your toes in the country’s culture and is often appreciated by the locals and workers. As a tourist and visitor, rather than trying to expect the locals to accommodate to you by speaking English, I encourage you to respect their culture and make an effort to interact with people such as waiters, cashiers, and taxi drivers in the local language!
How did your study abroad experience enhance your knowledge/skills/understanding of your intended career field?
My semester abroad equipped me with experiences where I witnessed the beauty of varying cultures and the ability for humans to connect and communicate despite linguistic, cultural, social, and economic barriers. I met incredible people during my time abroad who stretched my thinking and showed me that when you strip everything else away, we are humans all striving for connection and purpose. Through these discussions and interactions, my mindset on how I treat others and how I pursue relationships were molded and my cross-cultural communication skills were honed. As an aspiring physician, I intend to enforce effective patient-physician communication to my diverse patients by understanding their background, their culture, and always remembering our humanity to care for them with the utmost respect, care, and empathy.
Theresa is a spring 2019 Rome student from Baylor University.