Pre-Departure

10/06/2015, Blog by Gurminder Sandhu, Community Psychology, Italian Studies / Cinema Studies in Italy – Framing Rome

I always knew that I wanted to do a study aboard program; I just never knew when I would do it and where I wanted to go. My decision to apply for the Framing Rome study abroad program was spontaneous; one of my good friends was applying for it and suggested that I apply for it as well. I had nothing to lose and the timing seemed right, therefore I applied. Applying for the program was a little stressful for me, because by the time I became aware of the program; I only had a week left to apply before the due date. Luckily I was able to complete the application for the program in time and was accepted.
After I was accepted into the program I delayed preparing to leave until I had about a month left. Packing wasn’t as much of a struggle that I initially anticipated it to be. Though it was hard to determine how much clothes I should take with me, I ended up packing summer clothes, because Rome was expected to be hot during the period of time that I was planning on being their I ended up packing a lot of summer clothes. I also packed a couple of light jackets. What I failed to pack however was a rain jacket. In late august, early September it begins to rain in Rome and I was not prepared for that, therefore I recommend that when packing for your study abroad to check what the weather is going to like before leaving. One of the best things that I packed for my trip to Rome has to be my pair of tennis shoes, they were the only pair of shoes that were comfortable for the amount of walking I did in Rome, therefore I recommend that everyone packs a comfortable pair of shoes that they would be able to walk in for a while, especially if they are traveling to Rome, because the cobblestone roads lead to painful feet by the end of the day. Personally I think that I over packed, because I ended up needing to check in a bag, even though it was only somewhat full. This actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise though, because on my way back from Rome, I had many souvenirs and presents to bring back for my family and friends, and ended up using up the extra space that I had in my second bag to bring all of that back home.
One thing that I was worried about before leaving for my study aboard program was becoming homesick. I tend to be a homebody and very family oriented, therefore I was concerned about how I would stay in touch with my family. My family and I ended up communicating through Face time as well as Whatsapp. With these different methods of communicating with my loved ones at home, I was able to avoid feeling homesick. Additionally there was so much to see and do in Rome, therefore I would keep myself busy to avoid feeling homesick.
A concern for many when considering if they want to have a study abroad experience tends to be money. Study abroad programs can get expensive, but with the help of financial aid and scholarships, it becomes affordable. There are many scholarships that are aimed at students that are planning on studying abroad; some are based on GPA, and others on financial need. I recommend visiting the study abroad office, and meeting with an advisor, so that they can help you select which scholarships apply towards you. From a financial standpoint it is completely possible to complete a study abroad program with

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