When in Rome: Students embrace ‘breathtaking’ sights abroad

Elizabeth Stoldt, Rachael Samonski, Konnor Vanemon, Thomas Roberts and Mary-Lyn Buckley participated in the Arts Abroad program at Rider, traveling to Dublin and Rome.

By Mary-Lyn Buckley

Traveling abroad can cause one to feel excited, overwhelmed, anxious and everything in between. Participating in Rider’s Arts Abroad trip to Rome and Dublin was my second time studying abroad, and I was surrounded by familiar faces from various majors on campus.

Assisted by the Center of International Education (CIE) specialist Christine Piazza-Reim and Professor of Music Jerry Rife, a group of 30 students became experts on exploring these foreign cities over the course of a 10-day trip for Arts Abroad.

Cobblestone-filled streets, live music and authentic Italian trattorias could be seen all throughout Rome. We started most of our days off with a cappuccino and ended them with wine. Rome is an old city built on history and culture; the architecture is truly breathtaking and luckily, there were so many tours that were offered which allowed us to take a look inside the most famous sights. Rome is a popular destination thousands of tourists visit all year round, which keeps the city booming with business.

After a short plane ride from Rome, we had arrived in Dublin, Ireland’s largest city. The streets were unforgettable and full of authentic shops, an immense nightlife scene and religious landmarks.

Dublin, the second city we traveled across, was much easier to navigate. There was no language barrier which helped, and we had gotten more comfortable finding our way around yet another foreign country.

“My favorite part of my trip was seeing all the amazing architecture,” junior marketing major Rachael Somonski stated. “It’s crazy how Saint Patrick’s Cathedral was established in 1191 yet is still standing. The stained glass windows are made with such intricate detail. I could just stand and stare.”

The students on the trip were a mix of upper and lowerclassmen and were either theater, business or communication majors, which allowed many of us to expand our social circles. Aside from sight-seeing, we all had the opportunity to attend several productions in both Rome and Dublin.

“I found watching theater abroad simply fascinating and quite memorable,” sophomore musical theater major Terren Mueller said. “The style of theater, particularly in Rome and Dublin, was so different than that of the Americanized style that we are so used to. Being able to experience these other cultures and compare them to our own was so eye opening and important.”

Rider’s CIE office maintains great communication with all students that choose to study abroad before, during and after each trip. I am very lucky I was given the chance to embrace new cultures in such a short amount of time and wouldn’t change a thing.

“If I had any advice, it would be to take every opportunity that you get to travel and study abroad,” Mueller said. “Learning from and living vicariously through a textbook can only teach you so much, so sign up to study abroad and experience the world for yourself.”

Printed in the 1/31/18 edition. 

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