Hey, students in Irving! I’m a sophomore in Rome right now, and I’ll be keeping you updated about our life here throughout the semester. Here are some quick statistics about our Rome class: the 72 girls here far outnumber the 38 boys. We are lucky enough to spend time with our five RAs and seven teachers who eat meals on campus with us. Dr. Osborn’s daughters, Zoë and Riley, have become little sisters to us, and they love to join in our games of soccer after dinner.
We arrived on the Due Santi campus three weeks ago. Our days have already been filled with travels to Castel Gandolfo – which is the town nearby where the pope stays for part of the summer – and the center of Rome to see the famous monuments and explore the city. This past weekend we went on a class trip to Campania, a region in Southern Italy.
One of the highlights of the trip was going to Pompeii, a city that was destroyed in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 70 A.D. We were able to walk on the original streets, go into some of the villas, and see the plaster figures of people the way they looked when they died that fateful day.
Another highlight was swimming in the Mediterranean Sea along the Almalfi coast. After a couple of days of traveling, it was nice to float in the sparkling sea near the boats and talk about how beautiful everything was. Some people went cliff jumping and some swam out to a cave that had stairs carved up the mountain; the stairs were blocked off, but it seemed that they went through the mountain to a house on the top.
I’m sure that all the past Romers remember Dr. Hatlie. Regarding this year’s Rome semester, he says, “So far the semester has been fantastic. It’s great to have a new class. Both in this trip to Campania and the Greece trip, we’ve added new and important destinations for educational travel.”