Pizza, Pasta, and endless Gelato! I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my fall semester junior year than studying abroad in Rome. Ever since freshman year, I knew that I wanted to study abroad. The first decision that I had to make was picking a city to pursue my-off campus studies.
Being a native French speaker, I had always been interested in “romance” languages. During my sophomore year, I enrolled myself in Beginners Italian and immediately fell in love with the language. My Italian professor would constantly tell me that studying abroad in Italy would be the best decision I could ever make. Between her encouragement and my serious love for pizza, it didn’t take a lot of convincing to get me to apply to the program in Rome.
Rome is an endlessly entertaining city. With people watching as my number one sport, I felt constantly amused and was certainly never bored with the hustle and bustle surrounding the city. Each day I would attend classes in the heart of Rome, and then would proceed to grab an afternoon snack and sit outside while watching locals being constantly frustrated with tourists. Not to mention, the regular walks I would take in between my classes to places like the Trevi Fountain or the Spanish Steps, which I now realize is a luxury that I will probably never have again.
This experience has been quite literally “the gift that keeps on giving”. Not only have I returned a more well-rounded individual that embodies the liberal arts education, I have also come home with a wealth of knowledge about Italy and Europe in general. Finally, I returned home with an offer to intern for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome. Even after all of these experiences, I still do not believe that studying abroad in Italy was the best decision I have ever made. Instead, I’ve realized that the SLU community is what encouraged me to take a leap of faith and study off campus for a semester. I now know that attending St. Lawrence is the best decision I’ve ever made.