Hi all,

After getting home from Italy, I took some time off from blogging so that I could take time to reflect and make a couple of entries after returning home. I wanted to use this specific blog post to reflect on my time studying in Rome overall.

Being in Rome was one of the happiest times of my life. The culture and the way of life in Italy are things that I already miss so much. When our study abroad group had our first meeting about what experiences abroad are like, they said that some people take time to adjust to a new country and it may not be what they expected. The girls on my trip and I didn’t feel this way at the beginning at all. We jumped right into the culture and loved it from the beginning. I am so thankful to have had a group of people who wanted to have the same type of experience that I did.

One of the most memorable parts of Italy was all the people that we met. We met so many people along the way that I think will turn into lifelong friends. I have social media to thank for giving me the ability to keep in touch with all the people that we met in Rome, Florence, the Amalfi Coast, and more. It is nice to know that when I return to Italy that there are people there that I care about.

I really loved the classes that we had in Italy. I took Italian 4, Italy Today, and another credit that included fun day trips. Italian 4 challenged me more than I expected it to. I always had a pretty easy time with learning the language at Pitt. I felt that with the Italiaidea and Pitt class, I learned the most I possibly could in 6 weeks. Even though it challenged me, I was so grateful for this class. It made communicating with Italians so much easier because we were constantly speaking in Italian. The classes were small and we were not allowed to speak English which gave us a lot of practice. I also loved the class Italy Today. We covered so much information, from the the first World War to politics today. Being a business major, I especially liked when we learned about Italy’s economy and businesses. It was interesting to compare the United States and Italy while learning about these topics.

Another aspect of this trip was traveling. Traveling throughout Italy was an awesome experience. I had never independently traveled around a country before. The train systems are incredible and make it so easy to get places. I traveled with two other girls for most of my trips and we went to Florence, Cinque Terre, Naples, Salerno, the Amalfi Coast, and beaches by Rome. After seeing a bunch of incredible places in Italy, Rome was without a doubt my favorite place. The reason is not only because it was where we lived, but because the people there and the environment were the ones that I liked the best. Walking around Rome, whether it be day or night, you will see people out and having a good time. The casual restaurants are incredible and there are always street performers that are so talented and fun to watch. By the end of my study abroad in Italy, Rome really felt like home to me.

I did have a couple of regrets after coming back to the United States, but only two. One of which is that I really wanted to go to a Roma soccer game and never had the chance to. I played soccer all my life and going to a game in a place like Rome would have been an amazing experience. Other than Italian soccer, I also took a liking to Italian music. This being said, my other regret was not making it to an Italian concert. Although I was bummed I did not get to do these things, I also see it as something to look forward to doing as soon as I return. I miss Italy so much and can’t wait to go back!

-Shannon O’Brien