Che Bella Vita

Walking around the streets of Rome, visiting world-famous sights, and traveling all over Europe during the weekends still feels so surreal to me. When I think about summing up these past four weeks, all that comes to mind is “che bella vita,” an Italian phrase which translates to “what a beautiful life” in English. It’s such a dream to be able to be a part of this program and experience Italy while also getting college credit for it!

In class, I can tell the lecturers are passionate about what they are presenting. They prefer for us to ask questions during class and want us to get engaged. With the classroom being composed of only eighteen other girls that are sharing this experience with me, it is easier to get involved during the lectures as well. It’s much more of an inviting atmosphere than a normal class in Auburn with hundreds of students and a distant professor.

The field trips we take make the learning experience unforgettable. They allow me learn to more than I ever could by simply sitting in class or reading a book. It blows my mind to think that I’ve visited the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Pompeii, and many more sights in these past four weeks. Those are experiences I will never forget. Whereas if I were to just read instead of actually experiencing them, I’m sure I’d forget about the facts shortly after.

I believe the weekends allow me to grow the most. Being able to travel on my own with a handful of girls I didn’t even know a month ago has definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone. Doing so has allowed me to become more independent and outgoing. It’s extremely hard figuring out how to navigate in a foreign country, especially when you don’t speak the language. It also allows us to become so close with one another in such a short period of time. The experiences we share together are what make our friendships so special and unique from those in the States.

With all that being said, I’m learning more than I could have ever imagined on this trip while also creating lifelong friends and becoming a better version of myself. The Joseph S. Bruno Auburn Abroad in Italy program has been the journey of a lifetime and I’m only one quarter of the way through. What a beautiful life. Che bella vita!

Marybeth Johnson

My new friends and me at Villa d’Este in Tivoli