Name: Kelsie Corriston
Graduation Year: 2014
Study Abroad Program: Rome, Italy
Major/Minor: Sociology major with minors in Italian Studies and Educatiom, Schooling, & Society
What is your go to study spot?
Room 416 of course! 9 girls, no problem! A lot of distractions though…
Where have you had the best “going out” experience?
Campo. Filled with hotspots like Sloppy Sam’s, this is THE place to grab a drink and dance in a piazza. Fountain-dancing will occur when the weather permits.
Favorite place you’ve travelled outside of your particular study abroad city?
Sintra, Portugal. Over spring break we went to Lisbon and took a day trip to Sintra, which has more than one beautiful castle. We went to the Pena Palace, which is basically a bright-colored castle on a mountain in a cloud surrounded by gorgeous vegetation. I felt like I was in the rain forest. We even saw a white swan AND a black swan. Luckily it didn’t pull a Natalie Portman.
What are your three essential travel accessories (e.g. clothes, items)?
1. A raincoat. Sure we avoided snow, but it’s rained ALOT. I’ve even worn two coats at once, layering my rain coat on top of a peacoat or Patagonia.
2. Patagonia. Call it what you may – Fratagonia, Patagucci, or just Gonia, this is the travelling staple. Works as a coat, layer at night, beach cover-up, pillow, blanket on the train, and more. Basically a 101-in-1.
3. iPhone. “Where’s the Wifi?” is the most essential travel question at any location, be it a hostel, restaurant, or bus. I use mine as a camera and iPod but also for keeping track of destinations and directions. The notes app is ideal for listing metro stops, addresses, etc.
Where are you looking forward to traveling this semester?
I can’t wait to head to the Amalfi Coast to ring in my 21st birthday. I may not be turning legal stateside, but I’ll take Capri and Sorrento over an American bar crawl any day. I’m planning on renting a boat and exploring the grottos and beach, but I am most definitely most excited for the gelato-making class we have in the works. Which basically is a gelato-TASTING class.
What is your favorite or most interesting class?
Cities, Towns, and Villas. It’s an art history class about Ancient Rome, and Rome is literally our classroom. Each week we meet in a different location around the city. I learned about the Pantheon while standing in the Pantheon. No textbook can capture that! We also took a day trip to Pompeii, which is so well preserved it’s unreal.
What’s the weirdest thing to have happened to you abroad?
While in Istanbul, we were on the hunt for cheap and delicious kebab. We walked into one restaurant to check out the menu before meeting up with the rest of the group. One of the waiters grabbed my hand and started slow-dancing with me while singing. He then gave a giant hug and asked “how long has it been?” I just said 3 years, which seemed like a more reasonable response than NEVER. Still, that man could dance.
Best food you’ve had – and from where?
This is a tough one, especially since I live in Italy, aka Eataly. To make it easier, I’ll pick a non-Italy location: Prague. It was such a change from the undeniably delicious Italian food in Rome – I consumed fried food for the first time in 2 and a half months, and the only vegetable they had was sauerkraut. So it was much closer to my typical American diet. My favorite meal was at U Tri Ruzi – I had wild boar, potato pancakes, and the best beer in Europe. I dream of wild boar.
What do you miss most about Notre Dame?
The people. Well, and the driers. I’m so over baggy, not-soft clothes. But yes, most definitely the people! Still, it’s amazing how we’ll all be together again next year with loads of different, cool experiences. I also miss big mugs of coffee, buffalo wings, and Rec Sports.
How do you stay in touch with friends and family in the states?
Snapchat, instagram, facebook, a lot of email, and a bit of Skype. My dad sent me a landline phone in the mail, but that hasn’t been especially helpful.
What’s your perfect day in (study abroad location)?
Wake up to no alarm, make a prosciutto and mozarella omelette, grab a cappucino and a cornetto at Cafe Settimiano around the corner, walk through the city grabbing pastries from the Sicilian bakery along the way, bike at Villa Borghese, have a glass of wine on the top of Janiculum Hill, have dinner at Dar Poeta, go to Giolitti for gelato, and sit by the Trevi Fountain at night. Then head to Abbey Theatre for a drink and next to a discoteca for dancing.
What do you anticipate you will miss the most about study abroad when you have to return home?
Rome. I’ll miss the city tremendously. I love standing at a bar and sipping my cappuccino, taking my time. To-go coffee is overrated, as is rushing. So I’ll miss the general pace of life and the absolute timeless beauty around me. I’ll also miss living with, studying with, and travelling with the best people around, aka the Romies in our study abroad group. Luckily we’ll have reunions.
Do you blog? Could you share the URL for your blog?