Blogger: Lisa Chang
I am writing this blog post in none other than Rome, Italy! As a junior and part of the 50% of Oxy students who study abroad, I feel beyond blessed to be in such a beautiful city and enrolled in a wonderful study abroad program. Besides taking various English-taught art history, sociology, and religious studies courses (many of which include numerous field trips to famous Roman monuments), I am slowly adjusting to Italian culture and finding out the many mistakes Americans make with Italian food (Italians don't eat chicken with their pasta, and they also don't have alfredo pasta. And "pasta" doesn't even mean pasta! It means pastry. Whaaaaaat?!). I'm also adjusting to eating dinner at 8pm, using my broken Italian to buy groceries from markets and order coffee at local "bars" (the equivalent of an American cafe), and, as the saying goes, "do as the Romans do."
Being in the middle of such a historically significant and mind-blowing city still feels slightly unreal to me. It's crazy how I walk by the Vatican on my way to school every day and am merely a few metro stops from the Spanish Steps, the Colosseum, Villa Borghese, and the Trevi Fountain. It makes me also appreciate my time here even more, knowing that I won't be here forever. Since arriving at Rome, I've embraced the idea of getting lost in the city (which is almost inevitable whenever I'm going somewhere unfamiliar) and have learned to be truly independent living in an apartment. While exploring with friends is always fun, I've also started going on solo excursions, and sit and reflect about things by myself. Most importantly, being independent has also helped me grow spiritually, and to rely on a loving and faithful God even more.
While study abroad has been awesome, to be honest, I have never missed Oxy more in my life. I miss my amazing and supportive friends who stay up late with me studying, I miss the easy access to culturally-diverse foods only found in LA, I miss my professors, and I even miss the pasta station from the Marketplace, as awesome as the Italian food here is.
Either way, I know I will try to make the most out of my study abroad experience. I am looking forward to exploring other countries in Europe in the next few months especially since this is my first time on this continent, and am even more excited about the new friendships and opportunities of growth here!
For now, arrivederci (good bye)!