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Studying Abroad: When in Rome

Studying abroad in foreign country forces one to break out of their shell and experience new cultures.  Rome is a completely different place from the USA; it is old, there are no CVS’s or Walmarts, and the people here can barely speak English.  Sounds weird huh? Well, it is probably one of the greatest places in the world.

Rome is over 2,700 years old and this city still contains some of the greatest architectural buildings of the past. With a metro card you can effortlessly see the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain and Pantheon casually, at any time of the day, to name a few.  The city is at your finger tips! A helpful hint for all you visitors of this beautiful city, if you want to see the Trevi Fountain, go between 2 and 5 o’clock in the morning.  You will be able to fully appreciate the fountain without tourists constantly bumping into you.  Make sure you make a good wish as well!! I have been in Rome for two months already and there is always a new site to visit and learn about.  This city is full of history and its history is beautiful.

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Not having a CVS or Walmart is very annoying for any American.  The thought of having to go to three different stores to get what you could get at a Target is definitely tedious but it is also wonderful.  This forces you to go into the mom and pop stores that make this city so great. My roommates and I were lucky to be housed next to the greatest neighbor ever!  He is from Bologna and taught us how to make his family’s traditional Bolognese Sauce, however, in order to go make this sauce I had the pleasure of going grocery shopping with him.  Now I don’t know if you have ever gone grocery shopping with a 70 year old Italian but, to sum up the experience, you will be told that everything you have been buying in a grocery store has been wrong.  My neighbor taught me that to have the best meals you have to buy the best products, and no that does not mean the most expensive ones.  He walked me to about five different stores to get the ingredients including a farmers market, a specialty pork shop, a specialty beef shop, a homemade pasta shop and of course a cheese shop. All these places were small mom and pop shops and let me tell you it was the best sauce of my life and barely cost anything to make! In Italy, the food capital of the world, you need to focus on quality and break the habit of convenience.   So if you ever visit go to the store on the corner, or find a local and ask them where to go, your taste buds will thank you!

Rome is constantly teaching me new and exciting things about how to live a real Italian life.  This city has been nothing but spectacular to me.

 This post was written by guest writer Melissa Perleoni who is currently studying abroad in Rome and interning with WSA. To get 5% off a weekend adventure with WSA, visit and enter promo code STUDENT at check out.


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