Studying Abroad Expectation vs Reality

September 29, 2022
The Pantheon
Arrival in Rome 

Before coming to Rome, I had no idea what to truly expect for my upcoming summer. Everyone told me it would be the best summer of my life, but I didn't want to set my expectations too high before arrival, so I would not be let down. While of course I did light research to try and understand my new home, it was completely different from what I expected when I arrived. My Texas college dormitory simply did not compare to my new apartment at John Cabot University.  

Perfectly located between beautiful restaurants, stores, and architecture, walking out of my apartment every morning leads to a new and exciting photo opportunity. Compared to my usual skyscrapers and high rises in Houston, as I walk around Rome, I can see all the historical buildings and culture that I lack at home. 
Historical Culture 

Instead of going somewhere remote to see a historical location, I can simply turn a corner and spot them nestled between a market or boutique. I was completely unaware that on my walk to Zara I would accidentally stumble upon the Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon. There is truly no place that is so beautiful and unique in its rich culture and history. Every way I turn, there is someone or something for me to admire and speak to, teaching me more about Roman culture from their first-hand experience than I could ever learn at home. 


Before packing up and leaving home for 9 weeks, I was beyond nervous about being able to find my way around the city and what it would be like. However, I can now say that even within one week, I am able to get around my neighborhood on my own, feeling extremely comfortable and at home. It is truly an entirely different experience than I could have ever imagined and it has been the best step out of normalcy I have ever had the opportunity to take.


As my time here continues, I cannot wait to learn more about the culture and history of Rome, as well as take quick weekend trips to the beautiful cities throughout Italy. So far, studying abroad has been an absolute dream, so much so that I still at times think I am going to wake up and be in my bed in Texas.



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