Classes and Travels
Taylor, Rome, Spring 2013
April 5, 2013

This month in Rome has been crazy and filled with travel. SAI took us to Tuscany to visit some wonderful small Italian towns such as Orvieto. The church in Orvieto was the most breathtaking church I’ve been to in Europe. The towns looked just how I’ve always imagined Italy, small back alley streets with looming buildings and vines crawling up all the ledges of windows. I also went to Prague for a weekend with a student travel company. The bus ride was extremely long, but the area was straight out of a fairytale with ancient churches, snowy riverside buildings, and the dark, merchant filled Charles Bridge.

In Rome, I got the opportunity to volunteer at a refugee center with a student club named STAND, which is an anti-genocide club. I served breakfast and passed out toiletry items to men from countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sudan, and all over northern Africa. Trying to give out shower gel and socks to people that didn’t speak English was certainly a game of charades. I also taught English for a few hours with another American student, and the men were so curious and kind. When we were going over the colors, trying to find items around the room was entertaining to say the least. The center is only a day center, so a lot of the men who come are homeless and very appreciative of the area to relax and be out of the weather outside.

My Rome Modern City class, a sociology class, takes me to different neighborhoods of the city such as Monti and Esquilino, and I always find really unique places to eat and shop. On my way to class in Esquilino, which is mostly an immigrant neighborhood, my friend Joey and I stopped for lunch at a Chinese restaurant. It was the first Chinese I’ve had outside of America, so it was a great break from all the pasta. We also went into the Esquilino open air market during class, and I found black beans, which have been hard to find at the grocery store to make enchiladas. They also had delicious dried fruit, and everything was inexpensive.

I’ve been starting to jog around the city in the mornings. It’s a great feeling to finally be comfortable in Rome. I know which buses to take, where to eat, neat places for spices and gifts, and hole in the wall venues for shows. My dad is coming to visit in the next week, so I’m looking forward to taking him to all the tourist things as well as off the beaten path places for dinner. In March, I’m headed to Amsterdam and the Amalfi coast!

Taylor, University of South Carolina

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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.