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Julia Eisen's semester with Maryland-in-Rome

Term: Spring 2022
Major: Journalism

The most impactful thing that I learned about myself through this experience is that I am much more capable than what I give myself credit for. 

This experience is challenging, but so worth it. I wouldn't change a thing. I have learned important problem-solving skills through my travels and I have practiced patience and open-mindedness thoroughly. I chose to study abroad on my own without any friends joining me. I wanted to challenge myself, and boy was it a challenge. However, along the way I have met amazing people from the University of Maryland and from other schools. Every weekend is an adventure, whether I am in Rome for the weekend or traveling to a different city. Overall I have learned how easy and worthwhile it is to put yourself out there in new situations because you never know what great things can come out of it.

Advice for future #TerpsAbroad: 

If you are worried about your identity clashing or "not fitting in," my biggest advice is to study abroad with a friend who shares that same identity or accepts you. In my experience there is a wide range of people who study abroad and you always might meet someone at your study abroad university, but it will definitely ease anxieties to have a friend you already know.

My most memorable experience was a weekend trip that I attended with my study abroad university. 

The American University of Rome offers three weekend trips throughout the semester that students can sign up for if they choose. I decided to go on the Tuscany trip which included visits to Pisa, Florence, and a wine vineyard in Trequanda. I instantly met new friends that I would not have met otherwise, and we got to travel the beautiful Italian region together. I will never forget the excitement of traveling a new city with new friends. I'm so thankful that I was able to take that opportunity that the university offered to us.

Advice for future #TerpsAbroad: 

Journalism majors can study abroad!!! It's advised by the college to not study abroad because there are very limited programs that have any sort of media or journalism classes, but if you plan ahead of time, you can still study abroad. For example, this semester I am only taking upper level electives to meet my minor requirement. Although I am sad I am not taking any journalism classes, studying and living in a different country makes up for it.

Living with people I did not know before moving to Rome has definitely been a struggle

By no means is it unbearable, I do like my roommates. However, there was an awkwardness at the start and even now it's hard to adjust to other people's living habits. My best advice is to have honest and open communication. It's a skill that is very useful while studying abroad, and also just in life. Nothing can ever be perfect, so don't put too high expectations on yourself.

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