Sunday, June 18, 2017

When in Rome

Ciao from Rome!

All 16 of us have safely arrived in Italy with all of our belongings. Thank you to the many airlines that made this a smooth and easy process for us!

It was wonderful connecting with everyone via our GroupMe chat. We were able to see each other hanging out at airports around the world, arriving in Rome, and enjoying some bonding time. I am so thankful we had multiple training sessions at Purdue prior to our departure…this has allowed us to get beyond the “who are yous?” and more into the “how have you beens?” upon meeting up. It was such a pleasure watching all of the students smile, reunite, and embrace one another.

Our day officially started at 7pm for Florence University of the Arts (FUA) orientation. We were kindly greeted by Umberto, our energetic FUA field experience leader. This week he will be taking us on adventures through Rome, Cinque Terre, Forte dei Marmi, and beyond. I can tell he is so passionate about his job and teaching students, which I can easily relate to (I use the hashtag #PassionateProfessor when posting on social media about my job). I absolutely love what I do for a living, and am so thankful to spend another summer in Italy with these amazing students and my FUA colleagues.

Along with Umberto, we joined up with 12 students from various US institutions, such as the University of South Carolina, Auburn, and East Stroudsburg. All of us will be traveling together throughout this field experience week—I am hoping this creates unique academic and social opportunities for our group.

We finished our evening with a group dinner, where we enjoyed lasagna, veal with potatoes (or caprese salad for our vegetarians), and tiramisu…oh, and some red wine, of course. During dinner Umberto explained the meaning of tiramisu, which is similar to a “pick me up.” Tirare=to lift; mi=me; su=up. This tasty dessert full of espresso, eggs, sugar, chocolate, and cream was a decedent way to end our first day in Italy. This is the dessert I often request for my birthday celebrations in the US!

We are looking forward to exploring the Colloseum, and many of Rome’s treasures tomorrow. Stay tuned!

This post was written by Dr. Andrea DeMaria, Assistant Professor at Purdue University and Program Director for this study abroad experience.

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