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Updated: Mar 3

This is hopefully the first of many entries that I will be leaving of my time abroad.

As an introduction to myself, for anyone who does not know who I am. My name is Erin Mosher, I am from Buffalo, New York and I am studying Journalism at the State University of New York at Fredonia. I am currently a senior and I am spending my last fall semester in the capital of Italy, Rome. I decided to study abroad because I have a dream of being a travel writer and it seemed like a great idea to study in a whole new country and continent so I can get my foot in the door.

I am studying at John Cabot University in Trastevere, which is about 7 kilometers from the Trevi Fountain. Even before college, I knew that I wanted to study abroad, I just didn’t know where. I had thought about Australia, but they have a lot of tarantulas and I am not their biggest fan believe it or not. My other destinations were England, Italy, Ireland or France. I ended up in Italy because I knew that it would just be beautiful there.

So far, I have only been here a week and I want to tell you all about that week. I officially left the United States on Monday, August 28. Before I left, I had Starbucks and Chick-fil-A as my “last meal.” Then when the time came around, I loaded up the car, and my mom and dad drove me to the Toronto Airport so I could get on my flight to Rome. It was sad and I cried a lot, but I knew that eventually I would have to leave.


View from my apartment

My first day in Italy wasn’t ideal. I got through customs pretty quickly and the shuttle bus got me to school, but after I was dropped off at my apartment, I just didn’t want to do anything. I couldn’t bear to call my family because everytime I tried, I just broke out into tears. My roommate that I met that day, Leah, invited me out to dinner and I went and got pasta that night and could barely eat anything. I was so tired that all I wanted to do was go back to the apartment and fall asleep with my weighted dino.


The next day was my first official full day in Italy. I went to campus for some orientation tours and then afterwards I went to the dining hall on campus, Tiber Cafe, and had a little lunch. For some reason, I just couldn't eat anything when I first got here. In the 24 plus hours that I was in Italy, I had not eaten enough to be nourished and I just couldn’t beat it. The rest of the day I didn’t really eat anything either, I just was not hungry even though the food here smells amazing.


Aperol Spritz from Aristocampo.

The next day was better, after a tour, I went and had my first aperol spritz with my roommates Kaelyn and Gracie at Aristocampo. Later on that day, I got to see my friend Alyssa for the first time since seeing her in NYC for our visa appointments, and it was just nice to be around someone familiar. We went out and got dinner and I ordered a fettuccine seafood which was piled with clams, mussels,octopus, squid and a whole shrimp, head and all. The shrimp freaked me out, it had a face and I had to ask Alyssa to break it so I could eat it. It was so good but also so filling too. The restaurant is called Birreria La Scala, its neighboring restaurant is where my roommates and I had gotten Aperol Spritz’.

Dinner at Bierra la Scala

After dinner, we met up again later that night to have our first official night out in Rome. A few of my friends and I went across the Tiber river and went to a bar called the Drunken Ship. If you have ever been to the Old Main bar in Fredonia, they are so similar. It is an American bar catered to study abroad students. Sometimes they have specials on their drinks and you need to show your school I.D. to get the offer. It is so American that they have beer pong there and they play luke bryan, luke combs, Miley Cyrus, Ariana Grande and pretty much any song that will make you bump in the club.


I had one last orientation event to do and afterwards I went to the pharmacy because I can’t stress it enough, bug bites are no joke here. I go camping for a full week or more every year in the summer, and I NEVER get bit. The bites on my legs are so bad, in all honesty I have been told they look like hickeys, I am sorry but it is true. They are ginormous and when I showed the pharmacist here what they look like, he was genuinely shocked. Sadly, whatever he gave me did not do anything for me besides leave bleach stains on my legs.

After dinner, I went out with my roommates and one of our new friends, Emily, and we started our night off at Scholar’s, which is an Irish pub that also has karaoke during the week. After spending literal minutes there because it was so busy and crowded, we decided to go back to Drunken Ship and have drinks there. We didn’t plan to stay out long but we met some people our age from Prague and they invited us out to a club.

This next sentence is something I couldn’t believe that I can truthfully say. I got bottle service in a packed up club in Rome where I got in immediately and free. When we got to the club, the line was so long we realized we wouldn’t be able to get in but one of the guys who were part of the Prague group of friends, had us skip the line and we got in immediately. We were led up a small staircase where there was a booth to sit at and all of a sudden we saw a group of guys who work for the club carrying a bottle of vodka with sparklers. They got closer to us and eventually I realized that they were bringing the bottle to us.

If you asked me if I thought that I would ever spend a night in a Roman bar getting bottle service, I would think you are straight up coo coo. I know that this isn’t the normal study abroad college experience, but I am glad that it happened and I am okay that it doesn’t happen ever again in my life.

View from the train from Rome to Santa Marinella Beach


We took the train to Santa Marinella beach on the Mediterranean. I was joined by my roommates Gracie, Kaelyn, Kya and our friend Emily. It was only a 30 minute train ride there and getting our tickets as well as tracking the train was easy. Thankfully, my cousin Kaylin was gracious enough to send me a list of tips as well as very helpful information about studying in Europe because she did a couple springs ago.

The water was absolutely beautiful. It was so blue and sparkly, just something straight out of a movie. We set our stuff up on a couple of chairs that we knew we had to pay for, but we set our stuff down on chairs that were free. I sat in the sun for a while, it felt so nice and I got such a nice tan, great enough to start the new school year off with. For lunch, Emily and I walked 2 minutes away and got sandwiches at a small restaurant on the water and our friends joined us later when they got kicked out of the chairs.

Santa Marinella Beach

We went back to the beach eventually and walked in the water, and got pizzas for dinner at another restaurant on the water. The pizza was HUGE might I add. It was also my first real Italian pizza. Now sadly, food wise, I am allergic to tomatoes so I have to watch what I eat so I had a four cheese pizza. We ended the night going back to our apartment and going back out to the bars and clubs.

Thank you for reading this. It still feels like a fever dream that I am even here in Rome, let alone Italy, let alone a whole new continent! That was crazy enough, my first week in Rome. I am here until before Christmas and I hope to do more entries like this, journaling my daily adventures. I have trips I want to do while I am here and I cannot wait to share those places with all of you.


1 Comment

Erin Mosher
Erin Mosher
Sep 11, 2023

Picture descriptions:

  1. View from outside my apartment

  2. Aperol Sprtiz at Aristocampo

  3. Dinner at Birreria La Scala

  4. View from the train to Santa Marinella

  5. Beach at Santa Marinella

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