Spring semester ended about 10 weeks ago, but summer has already been absolutely crazy!! As some of you may know, I was lucky enough to spend the last eight weeks abroad, taking classes through the Viterbi Overseas Program. A friend and I flew in early and traveled around London and Amsterdam, then we proceeded to spend the next seven weeks taking classes at the ACCENT center in Rome. I just flew in from a final weekend in London; I’m now in Washington D.C for the International NAE Global Grand Challenges conference. I’ll spend another post talking about my ~life changing~ experience in Rome, but for now I wanted to do a quick “day-in-my-life” post to show you guys what a typical study abroad day was like!!
7:30 am: wake up, hit snooze. Summertime in Rome is not exactly comfortable weather, and our apartments didn’t have air conditioning. Eventually it would get too hot to stay in bed, so I’d hop out and into the shower.
8:15 am: catch the tram to ACCENT. Our apartments were in Trastevere, a cool residential area of Rome. Our classes however, were in a completely different area, requiring us to take a 10-15 minute tram ride in the morning. We would hop off and take a 10 minute walk through Campo di Fiori, cruise near Piazza Navona, and stop by Bar L’Orologio for a quick “un cafe e un cornetto con marmalata.” (coffee + croissant w jam)
9:00 am: First class begins. This summer, I took WRIT 340, a technical writing class, and ISE 460, Engineering Economy. The writing class was a ton of fun, and our professor tried to incorporate various aspects of Italian culture into our essay topics. I wrote a paper on Italian espresso, and our final project was on traditional Roman courtyards!
11:00 am: Next class! ISE 460 was my second class of the day, and while it was super different from any other engineering class I’ve taken, it was a really cool experience. We learned a ton of practical information, like how loans and mortgages work, how inflation and deflation influence the value of money over time, and what depreciation even is. The class was tough at first, but our professor definitely encouraged collaboration, and we all made it through together. MAJOR shoutout to professor Bottlik, who’s been teaching this class for decades, and still going strong :’)
1:00pm: After class, a few of us would go and scope out lunch. Sometimes we’d head back to our apartments, but for the most part, we’d eat around ACCENT, then do our homework. We would usually head to this church called Chiostro del Bramante, which had a sick cocktail lounge upstairs, with air conditioning AND wifi. Truly a win-win in the Roman heat.5:00pm: gelato’clock. Italy is known for its abundance of gelato shops, and Rome is no exception. At least 3-4 times a week, we’d make a pit stop at a new gelato spot in the area; I would usually stick to dark chocolate and coffee flavors. Towards the end of summer, as it got hotter, I expanded my palette to include strawberry and raspberry, simply because they were much more refreshing in the 90+ degree humid heat. I’m definitely the kind of person to stick to what I like, but studying abroad is about ~expanding your horizons~, am I right?
7:00 pm: Aperitivo!! In Italy, they have a tradition of aperitivo, where you get a drink, then have access to an unlimited buffet of snacks and food. The idea is that you go and grab drinks with friends while having small snacks and catching up on the day’s happenings. Honestly we only did this a couple times, just for time’s sake, but it was a really cool aspect of Italian culture that we definitely learned to appreciate.
9:00 pm: dinner time. We had kitchens in our apartments, so dinner would either consist of an easy meal thrown together at home, or dinner out (pizza, pasta, sushi?? and others). Dinner in Italy is eaten quite late, so 9pm was pretty normal for a meal out.
10:30pm: homework, nighttime walks, sight seeing or just hanging out with apartment mates. This was the coolest part of the day temperature wise, so going out was quite pleasant. We went to see the Colosseum at night, Trevi fountain, the Spanish steps and several other cool places at night, just because of the significant temperature drop.
1:00am: sleep and repeat! We had class on Mondays through Thursdays, so this was a pretty typical schedule for most of the week. Several weekends, meaning Friday-Sunday, were occupied by weekend trips to other Italian cities, so those operated entirely differently. I’ll probably throw a blog together about all the weekend trips, and my absolutely favorite spots in Italy, keep an eye out!
So there you have it, that’s a typical day in my life when I was studying abroad in Rome. It’s only been a few days since the program ended, but I already miss that routine, from the walk through Campo di Fiori to the delicious daily coffee. Most of all I miss exploring new parts of Rome with a bunch of my friends, but what rocks about Viterbi Overseas is that I’ll get to see all of those people back at school in fall.
That’s all I got for now!! I’ll be sure to post some more about Italy once I’m back home from DC (read about what I’m doing in DC here and here). I have a ton of pictures and stories to share, and a podcast coming up soon with a couple of friends who were also on the program (BY THE WAY, Season 3 of the podcast has started!! check it out here).
Peace out and fight on guys!!