Submitted by Paige Sullivan on the 2023 spring semester program in Rome, Italy…
After three full weeks of living in Italy, I’m starting to feel like this is real life! I have started to get into a routine and it has helped me to acknowledge that I really am here for four months. I only have classes Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, which is super different than what I am used to in Delaware. I have never had a semester where I don’t have class five days a week. This gives me loads of time to walk around Rome exploring, and also time to travel! This week, I focused on my studies and getting my work done during the week because I ended the week with a trip to Paris, France!
It really is surreal being able to hop on a two hour plane ride and ending up in a new country with a completely different culture. We hopped right off our 6am flight and headed straight to the Louvre where we spent the day embracing the beautiful art, then followed that up with some French onion soup. One thing that I was excited to go to Italy for was the cheese, I am a huge cheese lover and have heard great things about the freshly made cheese. However, I have to say, French cheese was something like I have never experienced before. I ate more cheese this weekend than I have in my life. The pastries were also insanely good, and I found myself wondering why they tasted so different than they do in Italy. After pondering that out loud, my friend taught me of the butter line. Essentially, the butter line is in invisible line that divides Europe into the region that prefers butter and the region that prefers oil. Paris lies in the butter region, making their pastries more fluffy and flaky, while Rome is in the oil region. Such an interesting fact!
We went on to see the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, and essentially as much as was humanly possible for the time we were there. I certainly learned the importance of time management while traveling, but it was probably some of the best 3 days of my life! (Submitted during Week 3).
The end of week 4 has come, and it sure was a crazy week. I made it back to Rome on Sunday night, and went straight back into classes Monday morning. This was my first weekend internationally traveling, and it was certainly a weird feeling being in class knowing I was in Paris 24 hours prior. Despite this, I made sure to promise myself that I would be on my A-game and get all of my homework done efficiently and effectively, since I am studying abroad not just living abroad!
What truly made this week so crazy however, was that come Thursday it was time to head back to the airport for a trip to Dublin, Ireland! The culture of Ireland is super different than that of Italy. Just walking down the streets, there are pubs everywhere filled with people who are singing and dancing, the happiness is almost infectious. Below is a picture of the world famous Temple Bar!
While in Ireland, we toured the Guinness Storehouse, James Distillery, Dublin Castle, St. Partick’s Cathedral, Christ Church Cathedral, and also did a coastal tour and went to a village called Howth with some of the most beautiful views I have ever seen! Overall, it was a very large change from the Italian culture that we are used to, and it was absolutely awesome! I am Irish and my last name is Sullivan, so seeing Sullivan’s pubs everywhere and feeling really immersed on my own culture was great. I was so sad to leave, but will definitely make it back to Ireland one day! (Submitted during Week 4),