Skipping across the Atlantic

By Cristin Marcy
October 9, 2003

Ashley Szweda

Have you ever wanted to experience another culture and country? The study abroad program has made it possible for junior Andrew Storti, who is currently studying at the American University of Rome, Italy. Storti left for Rome on Monday, August 18, 2003, a week before classes so he could explore the country and visit some of the sites

Storti chose to study in Rome for many different reasons. First of all, “I am fully Italian so naturally I had a huge desire to live and study in Italy to be able to experience it first hand,” Storti said. “Italy is rich in so much history, culture and beauty. There is so much to see and experience that I knew I would have the time of my life here, which I am definitely having!”

At the American University of Rome, Storti is taking five classes, which include marketing, business law, ancient history of Rome, Italian culture and elementary Italian. He enjoys the school because it is very small; it has less than 600 people. And the campus only consists of two buildings, which are connected and used for both classrooms and administration

Each of his classes are an hour and 25 minutes long with the University not offering any classes on Fridays. And for lunch, Storti and his friends at the University have to rely on the local cafes for lunch or to grab a snack.

Storti has a 15 minute walk to the University from his apartment in Gianicolo Hill, Italy, which is the tallest hill in Rome. From the top of the hill you can see all of Rome.

In the apartment, Storti lives with three other guys, one a senior at Cabrini College, Chris Boyle, and his other two roommates attend Maryland University. He really loves living in the apartment. “We have nothing handed to us, we have to do everything on our own,” Storti said. “We go shopping and cook ourselves–there is no meal plan like at Cabrini. This really helps you get immersed in the Italian culture.”

Storti explained that the Italian culture is very different. Italians are more laid back, and are very family oriented. People also go by the motto La bella figura, which means they always want to make a good impression and always look their best.

Another thing about the Italian culture is that they are many subcultures. Different food, wine and cheese originated from different regions. Within the culture they also have siestas in the middle of the day were all the shops are closed. “This is a little inconvenient at first but you get to the point where you expect to plan your day around it,’ Storti said.

Also the people in Italy emphasize the quality of life, “They do not work themselves to death here like people do in the United States,” Storti said. ‘They are much more content with leading happy and enjoyable lives.”

Storti has seen many sites throughout Rome; he has walked through the Roman Forum, which is the political, social, and judicial life during the Roman Empire and the Palatine Hill, which overlooks the Forum. He has also seen the Colosseum, St. Peter’s Basilica, as well as the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps, to name just a few. Along with seeing some of the small towns on the east coast, he has been to the town of Florence, and cruised the canals Venice.

Some of the sites Storti is still planning on seeing while in Rome include: the catacombs, ancient baths, and some other museums. He wants to also visit Milan, which is the industrial and financial center of Italy; Siena, which includes its Middle Ages; and the leaning tower of Pisa. And if time permits, he wants to visit Sicily and Capri. “I have no wishes to go outside of Italy because I want to use these four months solely to explore and see all of Italy,” Storti said.

Even though he loves being in Italy, when Storti returns home on Thursday, Dec. 18, 2003, he is going to look forward to being home with his friends and family. “I will be excited to be celebrating Christmas a week after I return and spending time with my family and friends who I have not seen for four months,” Storti said. “Although the food here is phenomenal, I definitely do miss and have cravings for some certain good old American foods.”

Posted to the web by Angelina Wagner

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Cristin Marcy

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