Ciao, Roma! Initial Reflections from the SBCC Rome and Paris Program

SBCC StudyAbroadLogoContact404_404This Spring, ACCENT has teamed up with Santa Barbara City College for a multi-city Film Studies program in Rome and Paris. SBCC student Jeffrey Leaf has been selected as the program’s Official Student Blogger, and we are very pleased to publish his reflections as he and his classmates explore the wonders and challenges of the study abroad experience.

Group photo

Traveling for the first time is a big step. Studying abroad is an even bigger one. There is truly no easy way to prepare yourself for as novel an experience as three months in a new land, especially with strangers by your side.

Everyone on our program seems very willing to be abroad simply due to the fact that they left the comfort of Santa Barbara to go live in a foreign country in the first place. In fact, that’s exactly the spirit of the group: a desire to leave comfort zones and experience a unique lifestyle.

The social atmosphere was one of shyness initially; the introduction of unfamiliar people coupled with the strain of jet-lag impeding our interactions. However, within a few hours we all began to settle into our new home and different bonds began to form. Within a week of exploring, studying, and eating together, we have all come to not only enjoy each other’s company but rely on each other to stay safe throughout our travels.

IMG_6332.JPG 2One of the best parts of studying in Rome is the power of the city to intensify and bring out our collective creativity. Simply being in the city has noticeably enhanced the inventiveness of every person, to the point where we are all overflowing with stories to tell and artworks to create. In all, Rome has proven to be a highly prosperous environment; our heads are bursting with ideas, our faces are glowing with anticipation. The excitement is palpable. We are all young and energetic, and we have Rome at our disposal.


~Jeffrey Leaf, Santa Barbara City College

Explore Rome with the SBCC Rome and Paris program students as they fly across the Atlantic, take their first tentative steps abroad, and immerse themselves fully in this fantastic city!

Video Credit: Nicole Montague
Click here for more information on the SBCC Rome and Paris Film Studies program.

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Click through our slide show to see more of the students’ adventures during their first week. Check back with us soon — we’ll be rejoining Jeffrey and his classmates as they continue their Study Abroad experience!