I Spent a Semester in Rome… Now What?

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My sister Jaclyn and I thought it would be a good idea to stay in Rome one week after the study abroad program ended.  At the time when we booked the flights, we didn’t know where we’d want to go, or if we’d even have any money to do so, but we thought it wouldn’t be too hard to figure all that out at least if we were still in Rome.

Last visit to the Colosseum

So we spent our last Thursday Friday with all of our new friends, saying our good-byes, having our last moments in Rome together.  In four months we formed a family, and for me it was harder saying good-bye to all of my friends in Rome (who I will see most of them in Philadelphia back at Temple anyway) than it was to say good-bye to my parents when we left for our semester in Rome in late August!

Jaclyn and I headed for Brussels and Bruges for the weekend, so we spent Saturday to Tuesday morning in Belgium, which left us all of Tuesday and Wednesday as our last two days in Rome.  Our flight home was early Thursday morning.

Jaclyn and I inside the Colosseum for our first time

Because we were studying in Rome for almost four months, we thought it would be smart to save some of the best for last.  Jaclyn and I managed to wait all semester to do things like go inside the Colosseum and go to the top of the dome at Saint Peter’s Basilica.  We wanted to have something to look forward to in our last days in Rome, and we’re so glad we waited until the end.

When we got back to Rome from Belgium we really hit the ground running.  There was so much we felt we still wanted to see and do, not to mention we had to have all of our “lasts.”  Our last cappuccino, last pizza, last pasta, last wine, last gelato, and last wonderful days in the Eternal City.  We also still had some shopping left to do, so we made a list and we started moving.

The top of St. Peter’s on a beautiful day

We thoroughly enjoyed our last two days in Rome.  Not to mention, we couldn’t have asked for better weather.  It was seasonably warm like Rome usually is, and the sun was shining bright.  When we went to sleep Wednesday night after packing all of our things, we were both really sad for the first time all semester.  We were both excited to get home for the holiday’s, but neither of us truly wanted to go home.  We were kicking ourselves for not deciding to do an entire year abroad.

The ten hour flight back to Philadelphia wasn’t so bad.  We watched movies, slept a fair amount, met some nice people, and tried not to be sad.  Mom and Dad were so excited to see their girls when we came through customs at the airport, and the first thing we did when we got back was head to Chicki and Pete’s for some American food and beer.

Jaclyn and I at the top of the dome of St. Peter’s for our last view of all of Rome

It is great to see my family and friends but being back home has been a bit hard for me.  Is it so wrong that I really just loved my life in Rome?  Studying abroad at Temple Rome was the best decision I’ve ever made.  In talking to a friend who graduated from Temple and spent a semester abroad in Rome as well told me, “You’re thinking of it the wrong way,” when I told him I was having the post study abroad blues.  He reminded me that I should enjoy the fact that this past semester happened, and with my sister nonetheless, because not many people get to say they spent four months living in Rome, learning incredible new things, making friends to last a lifetime, traveling to exciting new places, and having the time of their life.

I know I certainly did.

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