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This summer, senior Psychology major Dinishia Woldford spent time studying abroad in Rome. Here, she shares her experiences.

Tell us about Rome! How has it been?

Rome has been great! The weather was usually low 80s with no humidity. The people here are nice. The town reminds you of an American city, but it moves at a slower pace. I walked almost everywhere I wanted to go. You can always find something new despite walking the same street daily.

You were there for the summer. How come you decided to go during the summer as opposed to a full semester?

I’m graduating this December and my mom wanted me to study aboard before I left. Summer was the only choice I had if I would fulfill this wish. I’m happy my mom made me do this. I always wanted to study abroad, but I had put it on the back burner. I decided to go the second session at John Cabot University because it worked better. If I would have went to first summer session, I would have missed my brother’s high school graduation.

Your Instagram has a lot of pictures of tasty Italian food. How has the culinary aspect been so far? Does Olive Garden have it right?

The culinary aspect is very different. Everything is made from scratch within the restaurant. The food always tasted great as a result of this. I liked seeing the produce being delivered every other day. The refrigerators here are very small so they go to the market more often than we do at home. They also do not eat much meat with their meals. You get accustomed to the change, but you really do not miss it. If you want a burger, you can walk a few miles to the McDonald’s. The McDonald’s was good here, but I only had it once. I didn’t eat any other fast food here besides that.

What do you miss most about the States? What do you wish that the States had that Europe does?

I missed my family and friends the most. I hardly ever get homesick at Marquette. If I do get homesick, I just hop on the Amtrak train and spend the day there and come back. The time difference made it hard to talk to my family and friends. If they would have been with me, I probably would have stayed in Rome forever.

I really enjoy the siesta practice in Rome. During the hours of 1:30-5 p.m., the small shops and restaurants close down so they can eat lunch at home and take a nap. They reopen at 6 p.m. and stay open until around 10-11 p.m. or later. I like taking naps and I feel they are necessary to personal well being. I think being able to partake in the siesta custom also help improve my grades while I was here.

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What have you gained from your time in Italy?

I have gained a whole new perspective on life. You see so many things while you are abroad and realize how fortunate you are. I took a human trafficking class and I learned about children being forced to work as early as 9 years old. This is illegal in the U.S. but it’s a reality for many African children. I’ve learned that my life is not perfect in my eyes, but to others it may seem to be. I will appreciate things more and complain less. I know I can make it at least 5 weeks without using 4G on my phone. Thankfully, JCU had Wi-Fi on campus and in our apartments so I was still able to use social media and contact people. I’ve learned that I need to slow down and enjoy life. Everything is so fast pace in America. We are always racing against the clock and stressing ourselves out to make things work. In Italy, you get it done when it gets done. If something started 30 minutes late, it’s just called Italian time.

In terms of being abroad, what would you tell future students? Any advice?

My advice to future study abroad students is to really explore the new country you are in. This is your once in a lifetime chance to have an adventure. Make the most out of this time.

Interested in studying abroad yourself? Learn more at http://marquette.edu/abroad

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When I initially moved in to my miniscule dorm room in Lille, France, the first thing that I did was hang a blue and gold poster on the wall, proudly emblazoned with a simple phrase: We are Marquette.
 
As I embarked on the life-changing adventure of my semester abroad, I had this poster as a constant reminder of the community which had given me such an opportunity.
 
To some, these three words may mean nothing at all, but for me We are Marquette will forever make me think of the place where I have grown these past four years.
 

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