Parting thoughts on the Rome semester

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Claire Ballor, Contributing Writer

As the semester quickly comes to a close, the University of Dallas Rome students are preparing to say their goodbyes to the place they have been calling home for the past four months. For some, this will be less bitter than sweet, as homesickness and exhaustion have rapidly begun to set in. For others, though, this is the goodbye that they have been dreading since the moment they set foot in this city. If the Rome students have learned anything this semester, they have learned just how quickly four months can pass by. With only finals and a plane ride home left before them, many find it easy to sit here with a rather melancholic view as they try to swallow the bitter reality that their Roman holiday has finally come to an end. However painful the shortness of these four months may be, many find that such brevity is what makes this opportunity such an incredible and memorable experience.

For months, the Romers have been utilizing every possible opportunity to travel the world and take in as much as they possibly could, with a certain sense of urgency. This urgency stems from the looming curtain call that stands before them. Recognizing that the finality of this experience is actually what gives it sweetness and beauty is only one of the many lessons that they can take away from this semester. They have learned to take advantage of every opportunity before them, to take on life as aficionados. Many, if not most, Rome students, whether past or present, feel about their experiences here in Italy as Ben Gibbs of the current Fall 2012 class does.

“This was the best experience of my life,” Gibbs said. “Having the ability to actually see and experience the foundations of our UD education really completes the Core and has made me love my school that much more. The friendships and memories I have made and all of the things I have learned I will always carry with me. To future Rome students: Take every day here as a blessing and enjoy it all, because it goes by so fast. Not everything will go according to plan, but the entire experience, both good and bad, is life-changing.”

Their time here in Rome may be coming to an end, but the students of the 2012 Fall Rome class will leave this country with memories and lessons learned that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. Their education has been enriched, their minds opened and their friendships deepened. These students are privileged and grateful to have participated in the continuation of such a distinct aspect of the university’s identity. The Fall Rome Class of 2012 would like to thank the professors, Rome staff and university for the chance to experience this life-changing opportunity.

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