Orientation Trip

Well I have been living in Rome for almost a month and all I can say is that I find it awesome. However, right now I’m not in a very good mood!  I just found out that I need to be in Rome on October 3rd so I can finish getting my “Permesso di Soggiorno,” a document for completing my visa.  Unfortunately, I already booked a flight to Germany from the 30th of September to October 3rd!  I’ll be back on campus by  4 or 5 pm at the earliest on the 3rd, so this is not good news for me.  Hopefully I can fix this problem fast as I don’t want to lose my flight tickets!  Well, I’m also exited: tomorrow we are going to Tivoli with my roommate and couple of friends – I’ll let you know how that goes in the next entry.

Two weeks ago we went on our orientation trip to Umbria. We got to see the cities of Todi, Spoleto, Gubbio and Perugia, together with all of the 202 study abroad students at the JFRC. The night before we left was my birthday, so as usual I was late for the bus.  Still… leaving at 6 am?? Really??  It was too early and I was so tired!  All five buses had to wait for me and my roommate for like ten minutes!  It was kind of funny and I ended up having to find a seat in a bus where I didn’t know anyone.  In the end, it turned out to be a cool experience because I met a lot of new people.  On the first day of our orientation trip, I didn’t have much fun because I was really tired.  The tour was long and tiring an I got bored quickly.  After that we finally went to the hotel and I went directly to bed for a couple of hours.  In the evening we had a presentation from Dr. Susana Cavallo, the Dean of Faculty.  Her speech was really funny and made us feel at home. That was followed by one of the best dinners in my life! The best part of the night was when two hundred students sang “Happy Birthday” to me in Spanish – it was hilarious! After dinner we went out into the town, but I was so tired that I wasn’t able to enjoy it much.

On Saturday, we went a really nice town called Gubbio which had great gelato, really old buildings, and lots of cool places with awesome views.  I’m not much of a guided tour man and I get distracted really easy, so I can’t remember any of the interesting facts about of the cities we visited.  All I can say is that these towns were really old and spectacularly beautiful.  That night, we had dinner at an olive farm where we had a really nice buffet dinner.

Sunday, we left with all our bags for the last city, Perugia, before heading back to Rome.  Perugia was bigger than the other cities we visited and it had an underground castle.  I think our day walking around Perugia was my favorite of our orientation trip.  On our guided tour of Perugia I didn’t even use the earphone to listen the tour guide; I truly have much more fun just looking all over and analyzing the buildings and the really small alleys – it was truly beautiful.  Then, we stopped for lunch at a wine tasting place.  I don’t really like wine (I know most of you must be thinking: “What is he doing in Italy?”), but it was a delicious lunch all the same.  As soon as we got on the bus I fell asleep immediately and slept all three hours in the back Rome.  As we pulled up to campus in Rome, real life hit me: I had to finish homework in the IC (Information Commons)!

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