Program: Maryland-in-Rome (Italy)
Term: Spring 2017
Major: Marketing & Operations Management and Business Analytics
Studying abroad forces you into uncomfortable situations. I had to learn to communicate with people whose first language is not English and completely embrace a new culture. American University of Rome (AUR) has students from all over the world, and I met and interacted with people from entirely different backgrounds and experiences. Studying abroad made me so much more comfortable traveling and talking to complete strangers. Traveling and seeing Rome and other cities is such a cool experience. After seeing all of these places that you have only seen pictures and video of, I can tell you that seeing them in person never gets old. Getting to experience an entirely new environment and earning college credit at the same time was invaluable. AUR is a great school. I was able to transfer 4 classes straight back to Maryland, and for an out-of-state student, it was actually cheaper for me to study abroad! As long as you focus and genuinely care about the classes, you can do extremely well.
Advice for future #TerpsAbroad: Most Italians do know how to speak English, and I was surprised by how helpful people would be when I would ask for help. As long as you are respectful and humble, people are willing to help. AUR prepares you for many situations and the Italian class you take will help you have small talk in Italian. No one regrets studying abroad. If I could go back and do college over, I would do 2 or even 3 semesters abroad. The experience is invaluable.
Rome is such a cool city because there is so much to see is such a small area. My roommate and I would go on a half-hour run and go past the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Piazza Navona, and finish at Frigidarium and have the best gelato in the world. This was my favorite thing to do, especially at night, when everything was lit up. Those runs were some of my favorite memories.
[Studying Abroad] is definitely a bit of a culture shock. From eating at different times, to the language, to the fashion element, to recycling and much more, you will be surprised at how out-of-place you may feel. However, everyone is able to adapt and adjust and you will embrace the Italian culture very quickly.