By: Janelle Commerford
When I entered college, studying abroad was a very foreign and uncomfortable thought. I have always been a homebody and cherish time spent with my family and greatly enjoy being in my comfort zone. Studying abroad was an idea that was not completely out of the question, but highly unlikely for me.
I disagreed with the statement that studying abroad is a “once in a life time opportunity.” I thought that maybe when I have a job I could be relocated to somewhere in Europe for a few years or perhaps I would spend a few months there after I graduate. Also, I’m a strong believer that life is completely nuts and will throw crazy opportunities at you whenever it feels like it.
Although the above instances are possible, after spending the past few months studying abroad in Rome, Italy, I now completely agree that studying abroad is absolutely “once in a lifetime” and should not be missed by any student with an appetite for adventure and an itch to travel.
After some of my family members, friends and my boyfriend studied abroad, I considered pursuing the experience, and I am so glad that I did. Never again will I be able to drop everything I have going on in my life and move to a completely foreign country to live for four months while in school. I will never again be able to take an Italian Food and Culture class that involves being able to correctly pair certain foods with certain wines and get credit for it. I will never again be able to take a “siesta” on a daily basis. I will never again be able to country hop throughout Europe every weekend. My biggest problem will never again be having to decide which country I want to visit on the next weekend.
While these thoughts of “never again” make me sad, thinking about how I have already completed half of my study abroad experience, I am so proud of myself and ecstatic that I have taken advantage of this completely once in a lifetime opportunity. It has been an amazing adventure.
I decided to study abroad in Rome, Italy because I find Italian culture to be very fascinating. Italians are extremely passionate about all aspects of life. Whether it is crossing the street or their family, Italians never do anything halfway.
Rome is also one of my favorite cities in the world. I had been here before while visiting my boyfriend who had also studied in Rome. I found it to be such an incredible city. Everything is so old and there is so much history. At times I feel ignorant walking around and not knowing what buildings are what or what happened at some locations. Rome is the city of the Roman Empire, where gladiators were torn apart by lions and where Romans marched under arches after conquering most of Europe, and where Brutus murdered Caesar. I have yet to find a city as intriguing as Rome. Choosing to study abroad has been one of the most life changing decisions I have made and I will be forever grateful for this opportunity.