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Scholar Hightlight for Week Ending August 8, 2014

September 3, 2014
Brianna in Spain

Brianna in Spain

Brianna Burlock

Wow! My last week in Europe was so much fun! I decided to stay an extra week as suggested by Dr. Juan Arratia. I jumped on the opportunity because I don’t know the next time I will be able to explore Europe. On my final week in Europe, I decided to spend a few days in Rome, Italy. My visit was amazing. I entered and explored the Vatican (including Sistine Chapel), the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, a host of beautiful plazas with famous fountains and I even enjoyed a tour to Pompeii. I experienced my first experience in a hostel and although I was definitely nervous about sharing my space with complete strangers, everything worked out. I waited in line for two and a half hours to see the Vatican. Even though many people refused to wait that long in line, waiting there was an experience in itself. I refused to pay four extra euros because I was on a budget and it feels good to show myself how self-disciplined and patient I could be when I have no choice. It really wasn’t bad once you got out the direct sun. Luckily I got in line early enough to see the Vatican and the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill all in the same day.

Brianna in Spain

Brianna in Spain

My trip to Rome and especially Pompeii meant so much more to me because I have an interest in ancient Roman culture and life. It stemmed from my previous studies of Latin culture and language. Ever since my teacher excited me about how cool Roman life was, I put exploring Pompeii and Mt. Vesuvius on my bucket list. To me, this trip was a dream come true. I did not imagine coming to Rome before the age of forty. And being able to complete a life goal at twenty? – completely unimaginable! I am so blessed to be able to have such an experience and I will never forget it. I have grown as a person, as a global citizen and as a student in these short two months. I have broadened my perspective of people in other countries and my view of the importance of international relations. This has been the most life-changing experience for me. More than anything, I am proud of how I grew and how open-minded I was. I have gained self-confidence in my ability to make good decisions and have also learned to relax and enjoy the unique experiences that come my way. I am now ready to come home and share my experiences with family and friends as well as future G-STEM participants.

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