Living and studying in Rome could only be described as a truly magical experience. We are so fortunate to have Rome as the setting to the “starting line” of our collegiate careers, because we are living and studying in an environment that is more than 2,700 years old. This opportunity of being in Rome is purely incredible for the accessibility a student has to ancient ruins, contemporary museums, magnificent churches, great restaurants, and much more.
After living here in Rome for about two and a half months, we as Rome Starters now have a bit of a better understanding for both Roman and Italian culture. Since the JFRC is situated in a residential neighborhood, we not only get the chance to witness Roman daily life, but we also get to live it everyday. From roaming the streets to shopping at the supermarket to even watching a calcio match, we are exposed to the lifestyle and culture in ways that can’t be obtained from a textbook, but only understood through first-hand experience.
Most of us try to utilize the weekend in order to explore both different sides of Rome and different sides to Roman culture. Whether it’s riding a bus, savoring local cuisine, exploring a new neighborhood, or discovering a hidden piazza, it’s fascinating learning more about this beautiful city. During the week we are hard working students trying our absolute best in school, while on the weekends we reveal that in addition, we are also cultural enthusiasts on a quest to unveil and understand the Eternal City one layer at a time. Even though we have an entire year here, we will most likely not even scratch the surface to fully comprehending the power of Rome.
One thing I look forward to on Mondays is comparing what adventures we all had during the past weekend with the other Rome Starters. After many stories, experiences, and lots of laughter are shared, we continue on with our weekly routines, until the next weekend arrives and we press the “repeat button” on filling our appetites for more Roman life and culture.