Flying into Rome

Chapter 1: Buongiorno from Rome!

June 03, 2022
• by
Soni Kanaya

It was always a dream of mine to go abroad. I can't believe it's actually happening!

Preparations

My parents were super helpful in giving me tips and advice for what I should bring and expect abroad. I went to the mall with my mom and bought new summer clothes and accessories. My dad helped me figure out insurance and credit cards and how to unlock my phone to get a new SIM card. Thankfully, I was doing close to nothing for the time I was at home in the Bay (I even read a few books which is a real shocker for me) so I had a lot of time to prep for my 2 months in Rome.

Learning Italian

I tried to learn some Italian on Duolingo and got pretty far with the Premium 2 week free trial, but I still only feel confident saying "Io sono una donna" (I am a woman) or things along those lines which might not be too helpful. I thought my knowledge of Spanish would make it easier but it's kind of just confusing me with the conjugations. The first two weeks in Rome before the internship starts are Italian classes so hopefully I can learn some more useful phrases then. 

Expectations

The first few days are going to be tough because of the time change. Once the jet lag wears off, I'm planning on being very active and seeing/doing as much as I can. I'm going with my friend from school (Alexandra) and we've planned on doing some fun weekend trips and taking advantage of the extra time we have before the internship starts. I'm interning at a scientific instrument distribution company where I'll be doing consumer facing tasks for their English-speaking clients. It seems like fun and I will get to know the public transportation system very well from the commute. That will take up most of the week for the rest of the time I'm in Rome but we will definitely still squeeze in fun things to do at night and over the weekend. 

Leaving Home

Saying bye to my parents was tough but they're going to visit in July so I will see them soon. My mom's positive abroad stories were one of the main reasons why I wanted to go to Rome this summer (along with "Emily in Paris"). The flight was very long but gave me time to finish "Stranger Things" and nap. When I finally landed, I took a taxi to the language school where all the students in the program were meeting before we check into our apartments. I met 2 of my roommates and some other cool people in the program and we checked into our apartment shortly after. 

Apartment Time

My roommates and I decided to take an adventure and lug our suitcases to our

Our fun adventure wheeling our many bags to our apartment!
Our fun adventure wheeling our many bags to the apartment!

apartment. It was only a 10 minute walk but we got a good workout in the heat and dragging many bags over cobblestone. The apartment is very cute with an outdoor terrace just for us! Alexandra and I are sharing a room while the boys each get their own room (hmm...) but we don't mind because our room is the largest. We settled in, met our last roommate when he arrived, then went out to dinner. 

My roomies posing outside of the pub in the center of Rome.
My roomies posing outside of the pub in the center of Rome.

After dinner, we spent some time outside on our terrace getting to know each other with some €5 wine. After some contemplation, we decided to go out to an Irish pub/karaoke bar in the center of Rome. It was a tiring night, but very memorable. This trip is already off to a great start! 

Until next time! Ciao!

 

Tips to not look like a tourist!

Learn from our mistakes...

1) You just seat yourself at most restaurants. No need to ask for a table.

2) If buying produce at a grocery store, you have to weigh it yourself and get a sticker saying the weight/price.

3) If you ask for pepperoni pizza (in english) they will most likely bring out a pizza with peppers on it because the Italian word for peppers is sounds very similar. Better to ask for pizza with salsiccia (sausage).

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