Italy: Stay Calm

Submitted by Laura Sandu on the 2020 spring semester study abroad program in Rome, Italy…

This week, classes went well. I am already starting to prepare for my first paper and I am nervous because it’s supposed to be written in Italian and I am not familiar with how my professor grades yet. However, I will do my best and go to the writing center if I need. This weekend, as I was traveling to the airport by train I ran into a complication. The machine did not print out my train ticket even though I paid for it and my train was going to arrive in just a few minutes. I communicated in Italian with a few locals because there was no one at the help desk. Using my Italian, I was able to explain my situation and have the locals understand me and help me. They said that it should be fine as my receipt is proof of my purchase. However, when I got off the train in the Fiumicino Airport, we had to scan our train tickets to enter the airport. I panicked because I couldn’t scan in with a receipt and I couldn’t do anything about not having a train ticket at this point. I was worried that I wouldn’t be let into the airport and that I would miss my flight. I had to explain to one of the workers at the airport about my situation in Italian. Luckily, I was able to communicate my situation to him and he was understanding and he scanned me in himself. From this situation, I learned to stay calm because panicking will not solve anything. I am very fortunate that I learned enough Italian in school to the point where I can use it for real life situations. Knowing Italian made me feel a lot better about traveling alone for the first time this weekend. I am now more confident in facing inconvenient situations in Italy.

This is a picture of the beautiful view from my flight; the calm after the storm.