This week, we join ACCENT Community College Scholarship recipient Samantha Castillo as she leaves the bustling city of Paris behind and embarks on a new adventure in Rome. She reflects upon how study abroad has allowed her to gain confidence, whilst marveling at the ancient Roman ruins and connecting with the easygoing, welcoming Italian culture.
If you’re wondering if all the movies you’ve seen about Italy are true– the cobblestone roads reflecting the lights of the city, beautiful music in the air, people socializing outside bars over a glass of wine and plate of pasta– then wonder no longer because it’s absolutely accurate! Compared to the busy and metropolitan city of Paris, Rome has definitely treated us to a more relaxed, serene change of pace in environment and in culture.
If one thing is for certain, it’s that Italians value family and like family is exactly how you are treated when you immerse yourself in their culture. Just recently, I went to a restaurant in Trastevere that has been run by the same family for over 4 generations. Eating there felt more like having a family dinner rather than eating in an establishment.
I’ve come to see all the sights of Rome and it’s like walking back in time. I’m in constant awe of the preservation of such beautiful monuments like the Pantheon, the Colosseum, and even the Roman Forum!
As I’m wrapping up my final six weeks here in Rome, I realize that I’ve come to grow into the spaces around me and have become much more confident in myself to take on a big and beautiful city such as Rome. Being in Rome has provided me much more room to slow down and absorb everything around me.
I’d like to thank ACCENT for awarding me the scholarship to make these experiences come to life for me. International education is a privilege and with the ACCENT scholarship, I was able to make friendships that will last a lifetime, travel to the most beautiful cities in the world, and indulge in a culture that will be dear to me forever. Arrivederci Roma!
~ Samantha Castillo, Santa Barbara City College
ACCENT is proud to support the Community College Scholarship as part of our commitment pledge to IIE Generation Study Abroad, a nationwide effort to help more U.S. students gain international experience through study abroad programs.
Studying abroad is an amazing way to expand your horizons and experience growth. Use the ACCENT Program Finder to take your first step into a new and exciting journey: http://accentintl.com/find-a-program/.