Today’s post rejoins the SBCC Rome and Paris Film Studies group as they venture out across Europe, from the well-trodden cobblestones of historic cities to the little-known, far flung corners of the continent. Student Blogger Jeffrey Leaf describes how travel and adventure have brought the group closer together and helped forge lasting friendships.
Amalfi Coast, Assisi, Barcelona, Brussels, Bologna, Capri, Casablanca, Cefalù, Florence, Malta, Madrid, Marrakech, Milan, Lake Como, Palermo, Pompeii, Venice. One of the best parts of Study Abroad is undoubtedly the weekends, whether one chooses to spend one’s time in their host city or go out and see new places. There is no shortage of places to travel in and around Italy. And for such a short time in Rome, the members of our group have surely been around. Rome’s central location at the bottom of Europe and in the middle of the Mediterranean guarantees a buffet of places to choose from, whether you are an experienced traveler or completely new to the experience.
What has been fascinating to watch with our group is the sheer diversity of places that my classmates and I have chosen to visit during our stay in Rome, from the popular, elegant locales found around Europe to the more eclectic spots tucked away in the various corners of the continent. It is one thing to live and study in Rome with these people, but I feel that perhaps our freest sides come out when we are forced to work together in making these little weekend excursions successful. For instance, coordinating styles and outfits in Milan during fashion week was no joke. Nor was navigating Morocco’s Atlas Mountains during dusk. However, the wealth of experiences acquired during these trips as well as the bonds formed between friends are irreplaceable. Few activities bring people together quicker than travel.
As far as our collective traveling skills go, we definitely have a lot to learn as a group. Chief among these lessons would be to plan your trips well ahead of time and research your destination before you arrive. These two practices will not only save you a lot of money and stress, but will also help you feel confident that you are making the most of your limited time in any place you chose to visit. They will also greatly improve your chances of having a safe journey. Simply knowing more about the area and the culture can make a visit one hundred times safer.
Ultimately, the memories created in all these wild locations have been unparalleled since we arrived in Rome. In a funny turn of events, they have made Rome feel more like home since it is the place we always return to after our travels. By the same token, we are all really starting to feel like a family.
~Jeffrey Leaf, SBCC Rome and Paris
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