Feb 022014
 

This term I’ve taken advantage of the awesome opportunity to study abroad in Rome with the Frank Guarini LSA+ program. This means that I’m taking Italian 8, 10, and 12 right now while living with a host family in the Esquiline quarter of the city.

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As a sophomore, this is my first experience studying away from Hanover, and also my first real experience watching campus life from afar. This little bit of distance from the typical Big Green life has made me realize a few of the things I’ve come to love about Darty. Things like….

Being able to get back to your room in 10 minutes or less in almost any condition. Whether it’s snowing heavily, you’re in the Life Sciences Center, or you’re finishing your last lap around Occam Pond, at Dartmouth you’re still probably pretty close to your dorm. It’s been a hard realization that here in Rome, it takes me about 45 minutes on a bus to get to school, and if I go out at night I need to head home before midnight, since that’s when the bus lines stop running.

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The food choices. Maybe this is a bizarre one to bring up, but I’ve literally eaten pasta at least once a day since I arrived here in Rome. Don’t get me wrong, I love pasta (especially the alfredo pasta with broccoli from Collis), but I’ve caught myself wishing a few times that I could head to the Hop and grab some nachos, try something new at WorldView in Foco, or just order some Thai Orchid to my room. Plus, it’s been at least 2 months since my last warm chocolate chip cookie from Foco, and a girl can only be expected to survive for so long without her basic life force.

The safest campus ever. Don’t quote me on that, I can’t cite a statistic that says Dartmouth officially has the safest campus, but I do know that I feel totally confident walking by myself at any time of night, talking to strangers, and letting people into buildings if they’ve forgotten their IDs. The biggest danger I’d say I face on any given night at Dartmouth is getting accidentally elbowed in the face at a TDX dance party, whereas when I walk the streets here I keep one hand on my pepper spray and the other curled around an uncapped pen in case I need to stab someone to escape (I might be paranoid).

The dogs. Rome is full of dogs, but none of them know how to cheer me up quite like Samson and Baxter at SAE, Zeus at TriKap, and the other dogs at Dartmouth.

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The people. This one is a no-brainer, and I knew that I’d be missing my friends when I was off campus, but being away has made me realize that it’s not just my friends that I miss. Of course I miss them — I miss our spontaneous trips to Collis Late Night for milkshakes and our Pop Punk cuddle sessions, our standing mozzarella stick lunches and frantic dashes to Dartmouth Hall in the pouring rain — but I also miss the people at Dartmouth that aren’t my friends. The people that I barely know. I miss them because I know that they’re all uniquely talented and amazing, and that just because we’re sharing the same campus we are kindred spirits. I miss them because I know there isn’t a single one I wouldn’t or shouldn’t be getting to know, and that’s an amazing thing.

Jan 122014
 
Dec 062011
 

Hey everyone.  Right now, I’m done with all my final papers and exams, so I’m just hanging out in Hanover with my friends who are still here.  In fact, I even changed around my travel plans such that I leave on Thursday (instead of Monday)–that’s how much I love this place.  It’s great being here with nothing hanging over my head…no homework, exams, or essays!  I’ve been able to spend a lot of time with so many different people and have been able to explore the town a little bit more.

If you come here, my advice to you would be to spend as much time here as you can.  It’s an amazing place (even disregarding academics).  The town is really lovely, and the people here are incredible–smart, caring, interesting, and welcoming.  I’m planning on staying at Dartmouth during most of my leave terms, interning or doing research on campus.  I’m having such a great time here; why would I ever want to leave?

Dec 022011
 

Being an international student, I wasn’t able to go home for Thanksgiving. Spending 20+hours in a plane and at airports, with 6 hours jetlag each way, for only a five day break is a little excessive for a holiday that my family doesn’t even celebrate. This term I have been lucky enough to make some great friends on my freshman floor. When you are all up at 2 am frantically trying to finish a paper for some class or another, there is some serious bonding! One of my friends on my floor is actually from Hanover and her family invited me to spend Thanksgiving break in their home.

My last two years of high school were spent at a boarding school which was an amazing experience but certainly made me appreciate time spent in a real home – away from the dorms. After 9 weeks of classes, it was so nice to be in a bedroom with a proper bathroom and a house just to relax in. Being about a mile from campus, it was so easy to get to Baker (the library) to get any books I needed for my work but it also meant that I was off campus for a while – without having to go very far. Dartmouth is fantastic but it is a very intense experience and it’s good to remember that breaks every now and then to rejuvenate are necessary. This one definitely renewed my energy! Thanksgiving was amazing (SUCH GOOD FOOD) and we went on one or two fabulous adventures (involving black Friday shopping, building a snowturkey and baking lots and lots of pie!).

Next year, the calendar is changing so Thanksgiving is actually at that beginning of the winter break, but I think I will definitely stick around for another Thanksgiving holiday before heading off home for Christmas!