Kevin Yu - 2015 Program Participant

What inspired you to go abroad?

I grew up in an immigrant family, so I was always caught between two cultures. I learned to accept and appreciate both cultures, and developed a fascination with other cultures as well. Therefore, going into college, I knew that I wanted to spend at least one semester abroad. I wanted to meet new people, try new things, and most importantly, challenge myself.

View of Kotor, Montenegro

Kotor, Montenegro

How did you decide to study abroad in Rome through Temple University?

I had already been to Rome and I loved the city; its rich history, culture, traditions, and food enticed me to return. Further, I found it to be in a perfect geographical location, since it is a hub right in the middle of Europe. It was very convenient to go to France, but it was also convenient if I wanted to go to Croatia. I chose to go through Temple simply because I wouldn't have to worry about transferring credits and Temple Rome partnered with many companies to offer internship opportunities, and I wanted to pursue those as well.

What is your favorite part about Rome?

My favorite part of Rome was definitely the abundance of art. It wasn't just that I could see it. I could almost feel it. I would walk into a church or basilica and be transported to a different world. The sculptures, the paintings, the frescoes, and the fountains all had a unique story, and it was a privilege for me to learn about some of them and be in their city. The food also didn't hurt.

What made your experience studying abroad unique?

I was able to juggle many things at once. I was a student, an intern, and a traveler at the same time. I was able to visit places outside of Italy that I had only dreamt of visiting. I met so many incredible people with fascinating, and sometimes heart wrenching, stories. Not only did I walk through the Villa d'Este in Tivoli, Italy, but I got to white-water raft down the Tara River in Montenegro.

View of Prague, Czech Republic

Prague, Czech Republic

How did local staff support you throughout your program?

The local staff was very friendly. Everyone had their expertise, so classes were very interesting. Most of the staff had been living in Rome for quite a while, so they served as an abundance of information about the city, and I still talk to some of them today.

What's one thing you wish you would have done differently?

Nothing. I wish I would have had more time because there are just so many places I want to visit, but I don't regret a second of my adventures.

Nighttime view of a bridge in Budapest, Hungary

Budapest, Hungary

Describe a typical day in the life of your program.

Typically, classes don't start that early, probably around 9:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Some classes have excursions, which start earlier, maybe 8:30 a.m. or 9 a.m. I usually got up around 7:30 a.m. or 8 a.m. I would go to class or my internship, depending on the day. Then, I would get lunch around 1 p.m. and go back to class or work.

The culture is really laid-back, so usually my lunch breaks were around an hour to an hour and a half. After I finished class/work I would either go home and cook dinner or go out for dinner with some friends. Then I would try and get some homework done and go to bed around midnight. Fridays were off, so those Thursday nights I would pack for a Friday morning flight, if I was traveling that weekend.

What did you enjoy doing in your free time?

I enjoyed wandering the city, getting lost, and discovering new hole-in-the-wall places to eat.

What was your accommodation like? What did you like best about it?

I lived in an apartment-style complex. I loved that we lived with locals, even though we probably bothered them a lot. I loved having a security/door person that we could ask to call us cabs to alleviate that problem in the early morning.

What is one thing every student should know before studying abroad in Rome?

Rome is notorious for pickpockets. Enjoy yourself, but be careful in crowded, touristy places.

Costal view in Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Now that you're home, how would you say studying abroad has impacted your life?

I have a completely new outlook on life. I have developed a more European perspective and sometimes view life in the States as a bit too fast. I also miss the food and wine.

Would you recommend Temple University’s program in Rome to others? Why?

If you attend Temple University or a school that directly affiliates to Temple, then yes, because it is most convenient. If not, there are myriad study abroad programs in Rome, so I would suggest you to do your research and find the program that aligns closest with your desires. If Rome doesn't interest you, Temple offers many other study abroad opportunities.

Studying abroad is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. And from my own experience, I can tell you that you don't want to miss it.