Brandon – International Core Curriculum Rome Program, Italy
ACU Summer Break, 2017
We’ve all heard the saying, “Rome wasn’t built in a day” and they’re right, Rome is a breathtaking city that’s had so much history and culture throughout the ages. If you’re doing the course over Australian summer, the first thing you’ll notice is that it’s really cold, that’s because it’s their winter at this time of the year. Luckily, I packed pretty well despite the lack of thermal underwear (which is something you shouldn’t overlook!). We stayed at the Rome Campus that is located in Trastevere, which is only a 15-20 minute walk to the city centre so the campus is situated in a really good spot.
I was fortunate enough to be accepted into the 2017 Summer intensive for UNCC300, I’ve had the chance to meet amazing people from across different degrees, taught by knowledgeable teachers and I feel as if I’ve taken away a lot from the trip, more than I would have if I did it anywhere else.
During this two week intensive we had the opportunity to engage with disadvantaged people within the local community which are made of but not limited, the homeless, migrants, elderly and people with disabilities. I feel that because we got the opportunity to engage personally rather than read about it in articles, it allowed us to make a better connection and greater understanding when it came to the class work and assignments. In the middle of the two weeks we had a weekend off to ourselves in which my roommate and I did overnight stops in Venice, Bologna and Florence and saw the most amazing views, artworks and artefacts in places such as the Uffizi Gallery.
Now that the formalities are out of the way, I can start talking about everything else, you’re probably thinking, “What about the food!?”. The food is amazing there and the ease of access to food is even better. Due to its size, travelling inner Rome is easily done with trams or on foot (which helped us ‘burn off’ all the pasta we had) and this practically meant gelato stores were as frequent as 7/11’s and boy did we have our fair share (definitely go to the 150 flavour one near the Pantheon). I truly miss the food from over there, everything taste so authentic that it has raised the bar so high. One thing that stands out for me food wise was their version of hot chocolate. In Australia and most other western countries, hot chocolate is served from a powdered form, but not over in Italy, the best way to describe it is that it’s chocolate but in custard texture, very rich in flavour to the point that it’d fill you up after a serving.
Now in regards to landmarks, there are numerous notable landmarks to see in Rome, you have your Colosseum, The Forum and the ‘Wedding Cake’ but the one that stands out the most to me in terms of awe is the Trevi fountain, to me this was the most beautiful, you know that feeling when you see something that’s so beautiful that it hurts sometimes?, that’s how I’d describe it, photos never do anything justice in the world, you have to see it for yourself and throw some coins in.
For anyone that is on the fence about going, don’t even hesitate, you’ll get to say phrases like “When in Rome, do as the Romans do” or singing “That’s amore” with friends and having a ball.
Shout out to the ACU Rome Centre and Communitia di Sant’ Egidio (Here’s to you Claudio!) for their hospitality and the experiences and knowledge provided.
And a massive thanks to ACU Study Abroad for making this possible.