Studying Abroad in Italy my Freshman Year

I would always roll my eyes when people would rave about how their study abroad trip in college changed their life- it seemed like just a brag or an exaggeration. After I stepped of the plane with my class in Rome and saw the bustle of a new country, I realized that the people I once rolled my eyes at were onto something. I am now -without shame- the person always talking about their study abroad trip.


I knew since I was younger that I wanted to travel and experience the world, so finding study abroad options for college was one of my requirements. I heard about DePaul’s study abroad program online but didn’t realize how many options there were. In an email Fall Quarter I learned about FY@Broad, a program offered to first-year students to learn about a subject for 10 weeks and end the quarter with a 2-week trip. My roommate and I both were really interested in the Legacy of Rome, so we applied asap. 


Luckily, both of us got in and were headed to Europe! I was fortunate enough to receive a scholarship for the trip which was a turning point in accepting my offer. With that, we started the class! 

Going in, I was a bit nervous that I wouldn’t make friends in my class and join a group, but everyone was feeling the same way. Through the ten weeks of lecture, we all got to know each other and clicked. We learned basic Italian phrases, budgeting, and a ton of History (the focus of my course). By the 9th week, the travel part was all anyone could think about.


The trip itself was better than I could have imagined- traveling to a new country with new friends and being able to fully apply our course knowledge was extremely rewarding.  We had some lessons in Rome and Florence but mixed them with touring classic landmarks of the area and free time as well – I did an excessive amount of shopping. 


I have to say, the food really took the win for me. Fresh italian pasta was absolutely phenomenal – so much better than my pasta I make here. I hate to say it but the Trader Joe’s cacio e Pepe does not compare to the real thing. We all made so many memories together on this journey – getting lost in Rome when you take the wrong train really brings people together. I know it sounds cheesy but this program was by far my best experience of college – I really experienced the world in a new light. 

I could not recommend FY@broad enough – it is indescribable and all first-year students should consider trying it out. I am hoping to join another program before my time at DePaul is up, but for now, I will just be reminiscing with pictures and making people roll their eyes with my never-ending stories. 


See all the study abroad options!