Timothy Nguyen, Contributing Writer
Rome students arrived nearly 30 days ago, yet it feels shorter than that, because the days are not counted, but rather lived here in Rome. Of course, the students will not be staying in Rome forever, but the simplicity and beauty of this city makes them forget about time for a bit as they live in the moment.
Whether staying in the beautiful and cozy area near campus, or stepping into the city to visit its many historical and cultural attractions, there is much to experience: the people, food and overall culture.
“The thing that I found most striking about Italy is the difference in order,” sophomore Killian Beeler said. “In America you have this rigid Anglo-Saxon understanding of time and almost desperation to get things done or to have things done in a specific way, (but) Italy is different. It is much more relaxed, and there is a willingness to let things go that has influenced me so much in my values, religion and social life. I feel like I have more of a willingness to let things go and appreciate others ‘opinions, ideas and lifestyle whether in class, at a church or just talking in a bar.”
Other Rome students embraced Beeler’s carefree attitude as they fell in love with the tucked-in town of Assisi. A quaint and quiet town nestled on the side of a mountain, it was adored by students for its narrow streets, relaxed feel and gorgeous views.
Many students, some barefoot, took the time to walk up the mountain to the hermitage of St. Francis of Assisi with English professor Dr. Andrew Osborn. A place away from society and reserved for spirituality and contemplation, it was well worth the harrowing hike.
Finishing the Assisi trip, which included time in the stunning aesthetic beauty of Subiaco and Orvieto, students returned to campus, now a home away from home – though not perfectly so, with many loved ones a third of the world away.
“I feel like being here is similar to being in a long summer camp, because you are with all these people you know and you are in a strange place,” sophomore Jacob Adney said. “But what I find the hardest thing … is the people that you miss. I really miss my girlfriend and family. At least before you know it, you’ll see them again soon.”
Homesickness is not yet evident in students’ faces, but the feeling is somewhere there, however big or small. Home will always have that effect. And while Rome is like a home away from home, nothing can ever replace one’s own home and loved ones.