Genuinely Happy
Ashley, Rome, Fall 2013
November 21, 2013

My first time having Starbucks since being abroad…it was a magical moment

My first time having Starbucks since being abroad…it was a magical moment

I thought that there was no way the month of November could go by as fast as October went but boy was I wrong!  I have been reminiscing often this month about my first few weeks in Rome.  I keep thinking about how I was so nervous to come abroad, how I had no idea who my roommates were, how we got lost trying to go to the tour of John Cabot, and how Rome seemed so large and would never feel like home.  These past few weeks I am realizing that I am nervous about going home and having to deal with reverse culture shock, that I am going to miss my new roommates like crazy once I go home, and that Rome feels like home to me now.  I can’t express how much I am going to miss the friends I have made here!  I wish Priscilla, Caitlin, and Darrah lived closer to me; I do not know how I am going to live without them next semester!  Rome has really become a place that I love and will miss dearly.

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Me and a new friend in Paris at Notre Dame

On a lighter note, this month I traveled to Paris where I got to see the Eiffel Tower which was always just a dream I had as a child.

Dreams do come true

Dreams do come true

The lock bridge in Paris

The lock bridge in Paris

I also went to Barcelona where I got to spend time with some of my amazing Kappa sisters who I had not seen in months.

Reunited with my best friend in Barcelona

Reunited with my best friend in Barcelona

Then one of my dear friends from back home came to visit me in Rome.  This was the first time and only time that I had someone close to me come to visit me.  It was so great showing her around my town and where I have been living the past few months.  I blew her mind with amazing gelato (we ate it three days in a row) and all the other delicious dishes that Italy has to offer.  It felt pretty amazing to realize how well I know the city of Rome; I flawlessly navigated them to all the sites to see.  We even went to see the Pope on Sunday which was an amazing experience.  I am not a super religious person, but it was truly an enlightening experience.  It was also cool feeling like I am part of history now.

Waiting for the Pope with Priscilla

Waiting for the Pope with Priscilla

Classes are going pretty well and now that it is getting later in the semester it is starting to become crunch time!  I have been drowning in homework and horrible group projects!  I don’t know whose idea it was to have group projects, but they made a huge mistake.  All in all I am having mixed feelings about the end of the semester.  Christmas decorations are starting to go up which is making me want to go spend time with my family, but then I remember that I will not be able to just walk into the other room and see my new friends!  Either way all I can say is that I am genuinely happy and I am so proud that I had the guts to come to Rome.  Now it is time to study for my finals and start mentally preparing to go home!

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Ashley is a student at St. Norbert College studying at John Cabot University during the Fall 2013 term.

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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.