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Study Abroad Rome—A Springboard for European Adventure

I expected this trip to be different from the others: a semester abroad, based in Rome…on my own. I remember being sad saying goodbye to my mom at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on January 7th, 2008, and seeing her cry, but other than that, my mind was a blank canvas. I had purposely not filled it with goals and objectives--I thought keeping my expectations unrealistically low would keep me from any disappointment. People told me it would be the best semester of my life but I thought that if I went there thinking that, I’d always be trying to live up to those expectations. This way was easier. I would not set foot back in the States again for five months, and while it seemed like a long time, I knew it would go by in a flash. I decided to not let the length of my trip daunt me. Instead I focused on each successive weekend, packed to the brim with travels and unique experiences. I knew I was going to Rome to take part in a Notre Dame study-abroad program, but in reality, I had no idea what awaited me.

             This is my collection of experiences, thoughts, conclusions, and insights into this beautiful continent where I spent five months of my life in 2008. I had no plans set in stone except my flight back to the states. Dive into these travels with me and I hope you enjoy reading the chronicles of my travel experiences during my semester abroad. 

Comments:

Lauren Wallender, Elon University

Happy Backpackers

I definitely have WSA to thank for my exceptional experience in Amsterdam. One would think 4 days isn't enough to tour a city but WSA facilitated an optimum weekend full of sightseeing and fun. Amsterdam may have a notorious reputation for its lax drug and sex culture but there‚Äôs so much more to the city. Luckily, our tour guide, Arthur, native to the Netherlands, steered us away from the tourist traps and showed us around his beloved city, highlighting all of its gems. I'd definitely like to try other WSA trips in the future. It's hassle free traveling with an awesome itinerary - nice that the tour guides are flexible with the schedule and willing to cater the itinerary to the group's interest! Highly recommend WSA to any student with only a weekend to see a city.
 

Lauren Wallender, Elon University ~ Fall 2014

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