Well, I am finally in Rome.

My flight was delayed about an hour, which meant we had to wait even longer at O’hare. I used this time to get to know some new people, though, which was fun. I have now officially been full body scanned (fingers crossed there aren’t any adverse side effects, right CTA?). The flight itself wasn’t terrible. I got an aisle seat, which was convenient for my long-legged self. I didn’t sleep much, but I never do on planes…

We arrived at the Rome center and waited in a long line to pick up our room assignments and keys, as well as complete a few other necessary steps in order to completely check in. Then I dropped my things off in my room and had my first meal at the Mensa. It was moderate. I will get used to it, just like I got used to Simpson dining last year… bleh.

Afterward, I met my roommate. His name is Mario and he is a junior at Loyola Marymount University. It was interesting comparing our descriptions of the two schools and how they differ in terms of class size, professors, and location. What did they have in common? The girl to guy ratio – 70:30 – is the same.

Then we went on a walking tour of the neighborhood lead by some full year students. There were so many of us that the tour just ended up being a parade of Americans that were talking too loud and blocking traffic. I didn’t really hear much of what the guide (a full year student) was saying, but I now know that there are photo booths where you can get passport photos taken and that people on the street like to yell Obama at you while you walk by.

We then had a mandatory “floor” meeting, which was basically the same as in the U.S. Next, Mario and I tried to set up the wifi on our computers to no avail. We then ate dinner and returned to our room, where we each read for a while and then went to sleep at 8:45. Exciting life, right?

I’m writing this post at about 5:00 A.M. You’d think after not sleeping on the plane that I would be knocked out. But I guess not.

It doesn’t feel real yet. I’m sure it will start feeling real after we finish all of this orientation business… Today I will buy a SIM card for my phone and take a trip to the grocery store before I have to fill out paperwork with everyone else whose last name starts with a letter between S and Z. Then, we have more planned activities. Tonight I am going to dinner at a neighborhood restaurant, which I signed up for unknowingly. I’m not complaining.

Well, I should probably try to go back to sleep now. Maybe.



About Austin Sears

I'm a junior at Loyola University Chicago majoring in sociology and minoring in urban studies and photography. The purpose of this blog is to document my semester abroad in Rome!
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1 Response to Arrival

  1. Laura says:

    Correction – you are going to the store to buy a sim card AND a post card to send to me so I can have your address and we can start our post card war.
    Also, please don’t get tagged as a typical American there.

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