Viva l’Italia

A week from today, I will be visiting the historical city of Pompeii, Sorrento, and the Island of Capri. 

Tomorrow, I will be traveling to Tuscany (about 2 hours away) to do a wine tour and tasting. 

Italy has so much to offer. And that is one of the many reasons I chose to do this program. Honestly, the Providence College Study Abroad office had nothing to do with my decision, for they provided me with little to no information about their own program (they didn’t even know what airport I should fly into… oops?). I just knew I wanted to be in Rome, the eternal city. And so far, it has been amazing. 

Again, I live in a very residential area, but historical Rome and Trastevere, where other students are staying and where the nightlife happens to be, is less than a 10 minute bus ride away. I can get around Italy so easily, and there is so much to do and so much to see, that I’m happy it’s working out this way. 

Speaking about buses and transportation, my program has provided every student with a metro/bus pass for the month, which is about a €35 value. Over 4 months, the program is really helping us save a pesky expense. However, that’s not all that they have done for us. CEA is a small program in a building with 2 classrooms. Some students are involved in a CEA/John Cabot University program which allows them to take classes at both campuses, but PC students can only take CEA classes. But the program is small. There are 17 kids from PC, and I would guess maybe 75 students total. We’re not at a university, so all of the students are American. Having said that, I appreciate that the program is small and welcoming. We’re not getting lost in a university mixed in with people who are used to a different way of education, grading, academic culture, etc. The program’s employees understand that we’re all new to this, and they are hosting several activities to get us acclimated. 

This is what I’m doing next weekend: 

CEA included overnight trip to Campania
Pompeii, Sorrento, and Capri are all part of one of Italy’s most beautiful and varied region: Campania. Don’t miss this chance to visit some of its highlights. Transportation, hotel, dinner and breakfast in Sorrento, guided tours, entrances. Please bring extra money for food and souvenirs. – Minimum 20 participants.

Included. I bolded that above. I will reiterate what is included: Transportation, hotel, dinner and breakfast in Sorrento, guided tours, entrances.

Ok, given I did pay a sum of money to the program for housing and “excursions,” but they really do know how to take care of us. 

Some examples of other included trips:

  • CEA included wine harvesting
    This is the perfect time to join us and participate in some of the oldest and best rewarding Italian traditions. Don’t miss the guided tour of the farm and introduction to the wine making process and also grape picking (in good weather condition only).

  • CEA included tour of the Jewish Ghetto and cuisine    
  • CEA Included Italian Pasta making class    
  • CEA Included Florence Day Trip
  • CEA Included St. Peter’s Dome climb

All I gotta do is sign up. And I will. And these don’t include my field trips with classes. 

So while other students complain about class credit not transferring, expensive transportation, getting lost in a big foreign school, etc., I think it’s pretty safe to say that, although I knew almost none of the above before arriving in this country, I think I’ll be happy here. 

— and that doesn’t mean I’m not going to travel. Just in the mean time, there’s plenty to do here while still getting acclimated. 

So this post is kind of cheesy. But I felt it was necessary to post after talking with a friend who is in the program with me from PC. This program, especially for being PC’s pride and joy, is severely underrated and under advertised. It was a huge mystery until arrival in Rome. I guess we just lucked out. 

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3 responses to “Viva l’Italia

  1. Dad

    It’s good to be you!
    Go Friars.

  2. Esther

    It’s great to be you. Sounds like an adventure of a lifetime. Good thing that you will be back in time to see the friars go o the final four in March.

  3. neil mcnulty

    Lauren We are enjoying your Blogs so much. We feel that you are taking us along with you on your great travels. Your excitement is showing and the pictures show the beauty of Rome. God Bless and we love you

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