More Than Expected
Alyssa, Rome, Spring 2012
May 4, 2012

I am on the verge of tears knowing that this will be my last monthly letter. How do I put into words the most amazing semester of my life? In my time studying abroad in Rome, I have met so many people, made new friends, and had the most amazing experiences possible. I had the opportunity to study at John Cabot University and take classes with Italians as well as students from various countries all over the world. Studying at JCU was so different from studying in the United States. It exposed me to the ways in which our cultures differ and the ways they are similar. Being taught by Italian professors was a treat. I found that many of my professors here have different teaching styles than my professors back home. This unique experience will stay with me always.

One of my favorite parts of studying abroad has been having the opportunity to travel around Europe cheaply. Europe is so amazing and different from America in that way. They make it so easy to travel on a low budget. I can’t even count how many trains and planes I took this semester. Some of the places I traveled included London, Prague, Paris, Barcelona, Florence, Capri, Sorrento, Frascati, Tuscany, Amsterdam, Nice, Cannes, and Monte Carlo. All these places were so wonderful and different from one another in very unique ways. I especially loved Paris and the French Riviera. Paris I loved because it is a huge city like Rome but had a completely different feel. The French Riviera was beyond relaxing and gorgeous. Prague was also very unique in that you felt as if you were in a different time period while walking through the city. It was one of the coolest places I have ever been to.

When I leave here, I will miss waking up to the sounds of the sirens flying up and down Viale di Trastevere, and the tram being so packed with people during the morning commute that I have to wait for the next one so I am not all squished. I will miss walking along the Tiber and seeing the Vatican in the distance. I am pretty certain I will go home continuing to say “Ciao” and “Grazie” to everyone simply because it is what have done for the past four months. I will miss having a glass of wine at dinner because it’s just what you do.

My time spent studying abroad in Rome has been so much more than I had ever expected. I have had experiences most people will never get to have in their lifetimes. I am so lucky to have been surrounded by such amazing, caring and diverse people that have taught me so much about adapting to change and a new culture. Heading back to the States next week, I will take back with me all of the amazing memories and friends I have made here. This has truly been the most amazing and eye-opening once in a lifetime experience. Thank you SAI!


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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.