When I initially signed up for study abroad, there were so many questions I had running threw my head. I initially felt excitedly overwhelmed by the different opportunities available at the Temple Rome program. Interesting classes, weekend class excursions, class tutors to younger Italian students, internships and student blogging and photography… so many options! I encourage everyone considering this program to see what is available to you, but keep in mind that you have to leave free time for traveling around Rome.
Now that the semester is completed, I have a broader understanding of the opportunities offered to various students. For everyone: look into a few classes that mention class outings and field trips. Make Rome your classroom. Take a class you wouldn’t normally take. Perhaps business students should look into an intro art class or art students take a history or culture course. I am a communications student with a business minor so I took two business courses (I recommend Business Ethics and Society with Cortese) and creative classes like watercolor painting, digital photography and a design course. What was really interesting about the Inside Italian Design class was that we had class outings every week. This class also had a weekend excursion in Milan, which allowed a tour of the city with a design interest from our Professor. This gave an interesting perspective into the city and a better connection with classmates. The excursion classes are more expensive, but the price is worth it for a class or two because you learn a lot about the background of a different city pertaining to your class’s focused interest.
A lot of students participated in internships and Temple Rome is looking for more internships available for students with different majors. I recommend doing an internship if you need to add more to your resume; this feature can really set you apart from colleagues professionally. The main difficulty with an internship is that it takes up a lot of free time. Bare this in mind when applying. Other opportunities to add to your resume include being an assistant teacher that teaches a middle or high school class on English or tutoring and talking with some students individually. These usually meet once a week and are a good alternative to internships. Also look into what the Education Abroad Office has for students, like blogging and being a student photographer to share your experience with others.
Other advice I would like to share with you is not academic or of professional concern. It is about style and dressing in Italy. Like I have mentioned, Rome has been my classroom and Italy has its own style book. Be prepared to see a lot of dark colors, beautiful shoes and people wearing winter coats well into May. Italians like to dress warm and conservatively. When packing, I recommend bringing lots of layers for the unreliable weather and leave room in your suitcase to bring the Italian fashion home! A lot of my friends had to either buy a new suitcase or donate some clothes they packed to make room. So save enough room in your luggage for your purchases! With these tidbits of advice, I hope this helps in preparing for study abroad.