6 Tips for Studying Abroad in Rome
Are you excited to move to Italy to study abroad, want to get the most out of your experience, but don’t know where to start? Look no further, here are 6 tips for studying abroad in Rome, including the benefits of the Roma Pass, to ensure that you take advantage of all of the wonderful experiences and culture that Rome has to offer.
#1: Pack Light & Comfortably
While it may feel important to bring your entire wardrobe, it is much easier to just bring the basic necessities. Bring outfits that you feel confident in and are comfortable. When walking around the city for hours, it’s important to stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer, with comfortable walking shoes. When I first arrived in Rome, I prioritized style, but learned quickly that the key to lasting a full day of adventures is being comfortable!
#2: Adapt to a Work Hard, Play Hard Mentality
Because it is so exciting to be living in Italy, it is easy to forget about the reason why you are there: school. My recommendation would be to adapt to a work hard, play hard mentality, meaning that you work hard in school during the week so that you have the entire weekend free to explore Rome. As a result, you will keep up with your school work without limiting your time experiencing Rome.
#3: Learn the Language Basics
Luckily, most people speak some degree of English in Rome, however you will have a much more immersive experience if you at least learn the basics of italian. Focus on learning greetings, memorize you address (for taxis!), how to order a coffee at your local bar (bars are cafes in Italy!) and how to order at a restaurant. Italians appreciate tourists trying to speak the language, even if it is obvious we are not native speakers.
#4: See EVERYTHING!
It is crucial to go to all of the famous landmarks, however it is important to understand their significance and history. It may be tempting to take a photo and move on, yet you will live much more like a local if you understand the impact that these monuments have had in Italian history. Specifically, if you are American, you are not used to seeing ancient ruins on the side of the road that date back thousands of years, therefore you should take advantage of this experience and learn as much as you can. It’ll deepen your appreciation for history, and you will be able to share your knowledge with your friends and family back home!
#5: Use RomaPass
The Roma Pass is a great tool to get in as much as you can in one weekend in Rome. The best benefit of the Roma Pass is that you have free transportation for the entire time that you have the pass. This is essential to traveling around in Rome, since public transit is crucial to getting from one part of the city to another. Also, the Roma Pass provides free use of any public bathroom, which usually costs 1 euro. It may not seem like a great perk, but when you are in a pinch, it is a necessity! Finally, a great element of the Roma Pass is the access to the museums and archaeological sites, where you can get a discount, free entry and/or skip the entry line! Use the Roma Pass when you want to experience as much as you can in a short amount of time. It is great when friends or family visit, as well!
#6: Be Open Minded & Flexible
Anytime you travel, things are bound to not go as planned. It is necessary to become very open minded and flexible when studying abroad in Rome and avoid trying to control every situation. It’s very possible that you will experience culture shock, that is, feelings of confusion or anxiety when experiencing a new culture. However, I encourage you to embrace the new culture, whether it’s the cuisine or interactions with the locals or clothing. It’s important to recognize that surprises will occur, so welcoming change and being open minded will ensure your experience is very positive and enjoyable.