Midterm exams are here! Studying abroad is a unique experience because learning takes place while wandering down a street or catching a train just as often as it does inside of a classroom. All of Italy is my campus. It is an incredible opportunity to travel and involve myself in new cultures, but it is easy to forget that some of my studying must be in textbooks and classrooms. Since studying is one of the most important things that I will do while here, I have to find ways to make it just as interesting as adventuring in another city. That is why this week I am thinking about where my fellow students and I will be cracking the books!
Chances are, if you walk into a café in Viterbo this week, you are going to see a pair of bloodshot eyes behind a textbook at a table covered in evidence of a few too many cups of coffee. A café is a great place to study because there is WiFi, comfortable seating, and when it is time for a “pausa caffé,” the bar is conveniently located a couple meters from your table. Because a café has a fun social atmosphere and while there I am likely to run into a few of my fellow students, it is the ideal place for me to study with a group or to practice speaking Italian. When it is time to really crack down to memorize verb conjugations or read the textbook passages I haven’t gotten around to it is time for me to move somewhere more productive.
While studying on campus sounds like the absolutely least unique idea ever, that is because it was designed for study. Once again, the WiFi is key, but additionally there is plenty of space. Whether I want to spread my books out on a table near the vending machines or sit in the grass and take in some fresh air (though it is getting a little cold for long, outdoor study sessions) campus has a place for me! Since I spend so much time traveling, studying on campus gives me a chance to learn a little more about the history of this part of Italy. My campus has been a church, a prison, and is now a university. It is just another great reminder of how wonderful it is to study in a country with such a rich history and live in a region where so much of that history is still around.
Now, in a perfect world, all of my studies would be done long before campus shuts down and the café closes its door. Realistically, I will have to make my way back home for the last hours of study by moonlight. Eventually even the most adventurous study abroad student has to come home and cram for an exam. I guess that makes it part of the whole experience. When that time comes, I am grateful to feel the cobblestones under my feet and see the shadowy balconies above that remind me: this is a special place.
I am Reiley Porter and I study Computer Science in Las Vegas. I have always loved visiting Italy through books and I am thrilled to be experiencing it firsthand now. Living in this beautiful region gives me the chance to be more than just a tourist and I can’t wait to see what Tuscia has in store for me!
Mi chiamo Reiley Porter e studio l’informatica a Las Vegas. Mi piace leggere i libri su l’Italia e io sono felice abitare a Viterbo ora. Tuscia è bellisima e qui io sono più di sola una turista. Sono eccitata per questa nuova avventura!
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