Ciao! I’m Nate Schrader and studied in Temple Rome ’08. I’ve used a bunch of my Rome experiences to write for our TravelProducts.com blog, but this post isn’t about which travel adapter you need to prevent your laptop from exploding (I can help with that too). This blog is for the students about overcoming those feelings of homesickness so you get the most out of your Rome experience right away. After the awesome orientation activities end and the excitement fades just a bit, here are a few easy ways to avoid missing home and make the most out of the next three months.
- Get off Facebook!!! You came to study in Rome, right? Not spend your days in the Residencia! Facebook can be great for creating a Rome group to organize group trips and find people interested in going to that next museum or hill town, but looking at college friends’ pictures of what’s going on back home will only make you miss it more. Send your messages, “Friend” some Temple Rome students, and go explore!
- Explore together. Being the fall semester, no one has studied in Rome and seen everything yet. And just like you, they want to see the Spanish Steps, the Trevois Fountain, venture to Trestevere, and find the beach off the train. Pick something to do, ask a few people, and learn about Rome while making friendships along the way.
- Vent. You might not know anyone well yet, but most times others are going through the same troubles you are. They have close family back home, boyfriends/girlfriends, and best college friends and you can bet they miss them like crazy too. My advice: walk to Old Bridge gelato by the Vatican, vent on the way there, and when you finish your gelato talk only about how much fun you plan to have the next few weeks.
- Stay busy & Plan Ahead. You never know what can set off a memory to cause homesickness. The key is an activity requiring thought to distract your thoughts, so plan ahead if you think it’ll be a rough day. Ask a few people to go somewhere. Chances are, they’ll say yes or invite you to their plans.
- Talk to the locals. The sandwich shop and the pizza places off the Popolo subway stop have the friendliest, most helpful people I’ve met. Italians are such genuine people, you’re bound to leave with a smile on your face (not to mention you leave both places with food!).
Oh! And if all else fails, talk to Gianni! I could write a blog just on that guy and his enthusiasm and friendliness. He’s been with the program for awhile and knows what you’re going through. It’s absolutely impossible to chat with him and not laugh.
Bio: After graduating Wabash College and studying in Rome of ’08, Nate Schrader now writes about all things travel for TravelProducts.com. He really enjoys helping study abroad students and travel but also runs obstacle marathons and loves listening to live music.