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Favorite Course: Survey of Print Making
Next Destination: Germany
What was a typical day like for you while abroad?
After waking up and getting ready for the day I would make my way to the bus near my apartment or the metro station a few blocks away. Dependent on my route I would stop and have a “café” and “cornetto” which is an espresso and a small pastry to keep me going until lunch. After my first class I would meet whomever was congregating outside and go to the local deli to get a panino and some juice for lunch, and possibly a small piece of pizza if I missed breakfast. We would then return to school and eat together outside as long as the weather permitted and talk about the day. I would finish the day's classes and any other work I had and return home or to one of my friends' apartments. The evenings consisted of either walking around the city or just hanging out with friends at their apartments or even a local bar.
How did the location enhance your academic experience?
Living and studying architecture in Rome not only allowed me to see one of the oldest cities in the world as a tourist but also gave me a glimpse of how the city has grown and adapted over thousands of years. Seeing the sites in the city only shows one how the people in power at the time want you to see the city, but studying the city as an architect allowed me to find small areas that were reminiscent of or inspired by many different times and cultures that inhabited the city. These sometimes very subtle nuances of the city gave me a better understanding of the history of Rome, as well as the history of architecture itself. The lessons I have learned from Rome will undoubtedly influence how I handle future design problems in my profession and have already made me reevaluate many of the design solutions I have proposed in my past studies.
How do you see this experience affecting your future?
It has definitely inspired me to look abroad when planning my future and my career. Before my semester abroad I would have never thought to look anywhere but the U.S. to study, work, or even live. Now after surviving in Rome for four months I feel as though I can venture anywhere and adapt as necessary. This program gave me a chance to sample several cultures outside my own; it allowed me the opportunity to evaluate what I enjoyed and disliked about these many different ways of life, including my present one here in the U.S.
Describe your best travel experience.
One of the best experiences I had was my trip to the island of Capri of the west coast of Italy. After arriving via ferry I rode a small train-like vehicle up to the main town. After a very warm and sunny hike up through the town, stopping to eat along the way, I reached a quieter spot away from the tourist area. Not really being sure where I was going, I kept walking until I saw an old, dirty set of cement stairs that did not look inviting, so I went down them, and down them. Surprisingly, I found myself at a large Roman grotto in the side of the cliff. From there I descended down a twisting set of steps through the much cooler woods presumably towards the coast. When I reached the bottom I arrived at a long path along a thin, flat area on the slope down to the ocean with beautiful views of the cliffs and rock formations that make up the coast of the island. I continued down the path, taking detours on what seemed to be small paths that had been removed or just not maintained. I found huge villas teetering above the ocean and others below among the waves and rocks. There were long, twisting and sometimes dangerous paths that led high up the mountainous slopes of the island and to small, hidden ledges hanging above the lush cliffs and a foamy sea. After a few hours of exploring I found that I had circled around the island back towards the town and continued on to the ferry to return to the mainland.