What's your favorite part of Rome so far?
Emily: My favorite thing in Rome is the Coliseum. The day before we toured it, we watched the movie Gladiator, as a (sort of) history lesson. We learned that Roman emperors used gladiator games as a form of entertainment to distract people from knowing too much about politics and real things happening in society. They forced slaves and prisoners to fight to the death. Standing in the middle of the Coliseum, I thought about all the people that had died there and all of the spectators who watched. The tour and the movie taught me so much about ancient Rome. Even though it was a morbid place to be, I enjoyed learning about the history and being in such an ancient site.
What classes are you taking this summer?
Emily: I'm taking an international journalism class while studying abroad. I'm really enjoying it because we're getting to write about our trip while we're here, which helps me save the memories! We're also getting the courage to talk to the Italian people to get research for our articles.
What are some activities you've done as part of the program?
Emily: The SCO in Rome program is jam-packed full of adventures! During the week, we have class for two hours every morning and then go on walking tours around Rome. We've explored everything in the city, from the Vatican to the Roman Forum to the Pantheon. We had two weekend trips; one was to Sorrento, Capri, Positano and Naples, and the other was to Florence, Venice and Cinque Terre. We hiked Mt. Vesivius, swam in a volcanic lake, ate lunch at a vineyard, and went cliff-jumping, just to name a few exciting outings. We also have "Tuesdays at Randy's", where we go to our professor's apartment once a week to eat dinner, watch a movie and hang out.
I've had the time of my life during my month here in Italy. Studying abroad has opened my eyes to so many new things. I wish I could do it all over again!
Can you give a brief rundown for students who might be interested in going to Rome with SCO?
Emily: To tell you a little about the SCO in Rome program, Randy Hillebrand runs the trip. He plans amazing activities for us to do everyday, from weekend trips to walking excursions after class. He teaches an RTVF class and Jamie Cohen teaches a Journalism class for 2 hours every morning from Monday to Thursday. There are 14 students total. While most of us are in the School of Communication, students from any major can come on the trip.
Applying was extremely easy. We just filled out paperwork, went to a few meetings and signed up for the class. Randy was so helpful through the whole process, giving us as much information as possible and working with us to get everything done.
During the trip, all of us students have been using the hashtags #SCOinRome #HofstraRomans and #HerbertSchool when we blog or post on social media about the trip, if you wanted to check out some of the other students' work.
Thanks for sharing, Emily!