Italy Study Abroad Story: Felicia Rohn

Honors student, Felicia Rohn, recently studied abroad in Italy with the help of honors funded travel. Below is a description of her experience as well as some of Felicia’s favorite photos from the trip. Thanks for sharing, Felicia!

“When I decided to go on this study abroad trip to Italy I was really nervous. Though, when I actually was in a completely different country it didn’t feel all that different. People spoke in different languages which was weird, there was different currency, different plug ins, different food, and yes, different toilettes. Many things were different, but because it was a country whose secondary language is English, I rarely ran into a language barrier; which I am very thankful for, because when I did run in to a language barrier I felt really out of place.

I don’t think it really hit me that I was in a different country until I was on the island of Capri. Looking at the island from the boat as we arrived, I started to cry because of how beautiful is was. This happened a few more times while on the island just looking down at the water and at different places on the island. The beauty was just amazing and there are literally no words I can use to describe how the sights made me feel. Photos can’t capture how the view made you feel, I was there in person looking out at the Mediterranean Sea and it was the most amazing thing I have ever done in my entire life.

We were able to take a boat ride around the island, which was honestly my favorite part of the entire trip. We went into different grottos around the island and were able to go swimming in the Mediterranean Sea and even go cliff diving (completely safe by the way). This was my first time swimming in salt water, and it was so weird because I wasn’t expecting the salty taste when I jumped in. Though at the same time it was a new experience and I loved every minute of it.

I was able to see places like the Vatican, the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, the Colosseum, and the Pantheon all in one day. When at the Trevi Fountain I was able to make a wish and toss a coin in, which was pretty cool I must say. At the Fountain we purchased our first gelato, which was amazing. I got strawberry and kiwi, best combo ever. I thought to myself, why is this not a thing in America? It was the most delicious thing in the world and I miss it just thinking about it.

Something I wasn’t a fan of was peddlers, which I think was a big learning moment for me. I had a man come up to me and he was very nice and started giving me stuff. I told him that it was his and I didn’t want or need any of the things he was giving me (bracelets, wooden toys) finally I accepted just to make him happy, then he demanded that I give him money. When I tried to give every thing back because I had no money on my he refused again and demanded money again. I ended up putting the things he gave me on the ground by his feet and walked away. I realized that these peddlers only wanted to get money from us and would not take no for an answer and you had to do your best to ignore them, which was really hard for me because that’s not how I usually treat people.

Overall this trip was amazing. I had great experiences and some not so great ones as well. I wouldn’t have traded it for the world, and I hope that one day I am able to visit Italy again, because seeing all of these amazing things with so much history behind them was tremendous. I saw works by Di Vinci and Michelangelo, I stood places they stood so many years before. This was the trip of a life time and it’s hard to put into words.”