Three weeks ago before I flew off to start my experience abroad in Rome I had three goals for myself. I set out to; 1) to take care of myself, 2) to explore the city and 3) to stay on top of my classes. Reflecting on the small amount of time that I’ve been here already, I’m achieving and accomplishing my goals every day. I had no idea what to expect in Rome but I’m so proud of my transitioning and acclimating.
Although cooking for myself and eating balanced meals has been a challenge, I’ve been eating regularly and learning a lot in the kitchen. Grocery shopping to cook meals throughout the week is complete rocket science to me but it’s really nice to have 2 grocery stores minutes from my flat since I’ve had to make multiple trips weekly. I’m going to work on maintaining a sufficient diet and drinking more water.
I have explored the city a lot since I’ve been here. Public transit makes it really easy and convenient to explore and get places. I’ve made it to famous locales like the Roman Forum and Colosseum a couple of times. I haven’t had time to go in, but just standing outside of it is an overwhelming experience. I would like to try new restaurants in the upcoming weeks along with making my way to other famous locales like the Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon.
I’ve been keeping up with my classes as well. I just finished the third week so assignments like papers, tests, and presentations have already begun to roll in. My classes aren’t too challenging but I’m not used to taking more than 3 classes at a time. After 2 years at Kalamazoo College, I’ve grown accustomed to focusing on 3 courses in depth at a time and right now I’m enrolled in twice that number. I do have to say though, I’m absolutely enjoying not having classes on Friday!
This blog is a good way to hold me accountable to these goals and I see it doing a great deal of accomplishment in the future. A digital record is extremely powerful, as it serves as documentation for experiences that may not be documented otherwise. In five years, it will be a nice reminder of what I’ve lived through in detail. I don’t think one could “study abroad” virtually mostly because such a large aspect of studying abroad for me has been the physical transition of being in a new space and culture. It might be possible to get a similar education virtually but even then, so much of the context in my courses has been influenced and enhanced by the physical setting of Rome and Italy. With that said, however, digital technology has indeed enabled me to make the leap and study abroad. The technology we have today provides a great deal of support. It helps with communicating with people back home and it allows me to talk about my experiences like this, which has meant everything to me.
Next weekend I’m going on my first week trip to Capri, Sorrento, and Pompeii. I’m so excited!
Until next time,