After preparing to study abroad for many months, it is hard to picture the end of the program. I spent hours researching places I wanted to travel to, classes I wanted to take in the program and attempting to pack my belongings into two suitcases. But here I am, finals are over and the students come together for end of the semester events to remember their time here and share their experiences living and studying in Rome. Time really does fly when you are having fun.
The Temple Rome community did a fantastic job of concluding the students’ once in a lifetime experience and showing our growth over our months here. I really enjoyed the art exhibit of the different art classes here, displaying students’ work all around the building. I felt proud of my classmates (and myself) for the pieces we have created to capture our feelings toward Rome. We look back nostalgically at the photos, paintings, sketches, sculptures, etc. and remember our adventures, memories and triumphs in Rome.
For my digital photography class, I focused my final project on my interpretation of Italian culture. I have a few of my photos shared below. The project showed my interpretation of Italian culture while living here for a number of months. It involved places that I visited often, spaces where Italians met with one another and where they went about their days. Items that had significance to how Romans define themselves. Studying abroad allowed me to comfortably immerse myself in a different culture without feeling lost or overwhelmed. It prepared me to open my mind, look past my preconceived notions.
I really enjoyed how some of my classes were spent on the streets of Rome, in museums and unusual places I wouldn’t have discovered otherwise. This was one of my favorite aspects of the program because it aided in the students exploration of Rome. I was able to make connections of where things were related to each other thanks to professors walking us around during lessons. And what’s not better than having a private tour guide in museums and having access to places not public. I learned a lot while on mini field trips and weekend excursions with professors. Don’t be intimidated by meeting professors onsite, they are always helping with directions to and from places. Some professors may meet at the Temple Rome campus first or mention traveling with other classmates on public transportation.
I will really miss the experiences I had in Rome to explore the city with professors, classmates and friends. I wish I could spend another semester at Temple Rome exploring, learning and growing. Learning more of the Italian language, trying more foods and traveling to more places. I believe most students would’ve loved to stay longer. But reality has hit; no longer will Rome be our classroom. It is time to go back home, to the familiar and see our family and friends. Drive and walk down the same roads, go to the same places, same classrooms. But I will often reminisce about Rome being my live classroom.