Semester Abroad: Spring 2013
Determining whether or not to study abroad has been one of the biggest decisions I’ve been faced with yet. Saint Augustine said “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page”. After spending four months traveling between foreign countries, sleeping in different beds, enduring long hours on buses, trains, ferries, and planes, all while sharing the experience with a motley group of new friends, I could not agree with his statement more. Allowing myself to be vulnerable to the world around me proved to be a truly new and natural experience. There was something in my heart telling me to “get up and get out”- a part of me that was craving adventure. Packing up my bags and going was undoubtedly one of the greatest decisions I’ve ever made.
Studying abroad served as a great outlet for dealing with the routine I felt I had been too caught up in at home. Studying abroad serves as a great way to bring diverse people together. I chose to study abroad in Rome, Italy at John Cabot University through API. Before leaving America, I was skeptical on what the adjustment period would be like upon arrival. However, I skipped that entire phase. The easiness of the European lifestyle attracted me and I became easily accustomed. As an American spending time abroad in Italy, I was exposed to a culture I had yet to become familiar with, but adjusted to it just fine. People often write off anything foreign as hostile. I, myself am guilty of this assumption sometimes. As for Italy, it was just the opposite. I was welcomed with open arms by the Italians. Adapting to the Roman way of life was a joy. I found myself engaging in the nonchalant social life for which Europe is so known. Spending my afternoons wandering the streets of Trastevere and my evenings on the Tiber River was a breath of fresh air from the city hustle I’m so accustomed to here at home. What better way to spend four months than idling around the romantic streets of Italy with new friends and a gelato? Saying “yes” to studying abroad sparked my love affair with travel, and will certainly remain a defining period in my life.