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Once in a lifetime opportunity!

Isabella – International Core Curriculum Rome Program, ACU Winter Break 2016

Studying overseas has always been a goal of mine so you can imagine my disappointment when I found out my course did not allow me to go! Then I found out about The International Core Curriculum and I knew I had to jump at the opportunity.

My name is Bella; I am a third year Speech Pathology Student and I did UNCC300 in Rome, July 2016.

Growing up in an Italian family, Italy has been at the top of my list of countries to visit. I started my 3 week adventure with my mum and younger sister. We spent a week with my Nonno’s family in the stunning region of Umbria and exploring the picturesque hills and towns of Tuscany. To start off with we took photos of absolutely everything but, in the end, I just wanted to enjoy everything going on around us and I felt that sometimes photos couldn’t capture the true beauty of what we were seeing.

I was really nervous about starting my 2 weeks in Rome. Would the other students be friendly? What are our teachers like? Will the 2 weeks drag?

Well, as soon as I met my room-mates (and the other students), my fears disappeared. I shared a room with two girls, who were so lovely. In our spare time we would walk down to the touristy neighbourhood, Trastevere, for an ice-cream or slice of pizza. In the evenings, there were pop-up restaurants and markets along the river which were so much fun to go and look at.

But now I’m going to talk about the course itself. It consists of a 2 week intensive course, a weekend off, language classes, all meals included and accommodation sorted for you. A couple of day trips were planned for us, as well as some community work. Before we left we were given a rough plan for the 2 weeks so we had an idea of how the program would run.

I felt I benefited from the intensive format so much more than having classes stretched out across a 12 week semester. Longer classes (2.5 hours) meant we were able to go deeper into the topic of human dignity as opposed to brushing the surface in a 1 hour tutorial.

Our community work related to our topic of human dignity. We gave food to the homeless, visited a refugee home/language school and went to a Summer camp for people with disabilities. All these experiences made me appreciate what I have so much more; a lovely home, a beautiful family, a job. These visits truly enriched my whole experience overseas.

On our days off I explored Rome. There is so much to see and do; The Colosseum, Roman Forum, The Vatican and Trevi Fountain are just a few of the must-see sights of Rome. I could honestly spend hours walking through the gorgeous streets. There is always something different around every corner.

So my advice to anyone who is thinking about doing The International Core Curriculum —- DO IT!!!! It is truly a once in a life time opportunity, one which you will never regret. If I could do it again and again, I would.