Greetings from Rome!
I arrived in Italy before noon on Monday, September 3 (around 6 a.m. in my hometown of Boston – six hour jetlag!) and moved into the Residence Candia, where many Temple Rome students will call home for the semester. We will be living right outside the Vatican! I am staying in an apartment with five other girls. I share a bedroom with two of them. It feels like I’m living in a triple with a bathroom and a kitchen/dining area shared with our other three housemates.
I made steady progress unpacking my suitcases and setting up my part of the room. I sorted my clothes into drawers and put my books, glasses, and alarm clock on top of the dresser next to my bed (bottom bunk). I used one of my adapters to install a set of US outlets for my electronics. My housemates and I bought other things for our apartment at local supermarkets and outdoor shops. We helped each other set up our shared spaces and got to know each other. We also learned about the amenities both at and around the Residence, such as weekly linen-changing services (with all towels and sheets are provided by staff) and local shops and cafés a short walk away.
I’m glad I’ve been able to get a lot of help moving in from both the Residence Candia and from Temple Rome. They have been very kind to help us all get settled in the city for the semester.
The Residence staff have been wonderful at answering our questions about the place and listening to our requests for additional supplies for our apartment. I appreciate their patience with my limited Italian during my first week; I was looking for an extension cord and asked for “una prolunga” (Italian for “extension cord”) for our room. This was before classes started (I’m starting Italian this semester and had only a basic grasp of “survival Italian”), so I didn’t know how to pronounce the term I found in my English-Italian dictionary. I was happy to see the receptionist smile and praise my attempt at speaking Italain. I borrowed an extension cord from the Residence until I bought a US-friendly power strip for my roommates and me. The friendly interactions with the staff made moving in much easier.
Temple Rome staff helped me get useful resources for the semester as well. I learned where to buy my monthly pass for the public transportation in Rome, which consists of buses, trams, and the Metro. This is crucial to my stay in Rome; as a Bostonian who takes the buses and trains on the MBTA very often, I see myself taking the Metro and (occasionally the bus) to campus. I also had some help getting an Italian SIM card and phone plan with a special discount for Temple Rome students. I also got to rent a portable Wifi device through a university deal online. I’m glad I have all of these things now – I feel prepared and supported for my semester in Rome.
All of these thorough preparations, along with the reassurance from and positive interactions with the local staff, have made my adjustment to a new city in a new country much more comfortable. I feel confident and ready for my adventure!