Hounds Away From Home: Rome

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Kristina Wyman's picture
Julia Stevens

Saturday, January 23, somewhere around 4 p.m. 17 exhausted college students arrive at Villino Dufault and have to drag themselves and the luggage that contains their entire lives up a hill that rivals the one leading to the LLC.

Not two hours later we were out and about on the streets of Rome, visiting some of the most famous sights and eating conefulls of gelato, trying to keep jetlag at bay. The Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps were all incredible, even in our sleep-deprived state.

Now, almost two weeks later, we are in the full swing of classes. Having seen many more sights (including the Coliseum, the Forum and the Vatican) and can get around Rome on public transportation with almost no help from professors.

Our classes are all fantastic, mostly thanks to our great professors who not only want us to understand the material, but want us to see it in its practicality. While discussing how Plato viewed nature as a kind of proof of God, we walked around the city’s largest public park. After a mass at the Vatican, we were given a theology lesson on how the Church has gotten to where it is today and how we could see the changes through the art and architecture of the basilica. We sat on the fountain outside the Pantheon discussing how the Romans borrowed building styles from both the Greeks and the Etruscans for an Art History class.

In addition to great classes, we are also making lasting friendships. I knew two of the other students going with me pretty well, as well as a few from a class or two, and now we are a tight-knit community. We have lunch and dinner together every day, we explore the city together and we’ve even starting marathoning Friends every night. These are people I would’ve probably never known if I hadn’t come to Rome, and now they’re my good friends. I think that alone speaks volumes to what this program offers.

The opportunity to participate in the Rome Program was one of the main reasons I chose to attend Assumption, and the experience so far has not left me disappointed. On the contrary, it’s better than I ever dreamed it could be, and we’re only two weeks into the semester. Next week we head out on our first weekend excursion to Florence, and I couldn’t be more excited.

So far, the semester has been full of great classes, great friends, great sights and great food. I mean really great food. It’s Italy. There’s pasta everywhere. I’m in heaven.

The decision to apply to spend the semester at the Rome campus was easily one of the best decisions of my college career. I highly recommend it to anyone who’s thinking about studying abroad. Ciao, with love, from Rome.

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