Student Spotlight: Nicole Hellstern, Study Abroad Fall 2015

I’m a little disappointed that I don’t have any big trips booked until October, but I can’t complain much about spending my weekends in Rome. In fact, this week I did quite a bit of exploring. Earlier in the week, one of my roommates and I went out to lunch in between classes. We decided to explore a little bit since we still had some time. We headed up a hill near campus, and though we got a little lost, we came across a beautiful fountain and an amazing view of the city.

Fontanone dell’Acqua Paola

Some of my roommates were gone for the weekend, and those who stayed decided to go to Tuscany on Saturday. I’m planning on going to Tuscany with my parents next month, so I decided to walk around Rome some more instead.

Piazza of Knights of Malta

I heard about the keyhole that has a view to Vatican at Aventine Hill. It was only a 30 minute walk from my apartment (about the same amount of time it takes to get to school) and my favorite site I’ve seen so far. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to get a clear image through the keyhole unless it is professionally taken, but here is what you will see if you ever get the chance look through the Knights of Malta keyhole:

Doorway on Aventine Hill

After the keyhole, I went to two gardens nearby: Giardino Storico di Sant’Alessio and Giardino degli Aranci. The view from the latter was spectacular. You can see the city from the edge of the hill, especially the Wedding Cake and Vatican. Here’s a picture of the Vatican from the middle of the garden:

View of the Vatican

After taking a scenic route back home past some ruins (I’m getting used to it now), I received a message from one of my teammates at school, Greg, saying he was in Rome for the day with the Semester at Sea program. I didn’t realize he would be in Rome at all, so I rushed out the door and headed to the Colosseum to find him. It wasn’t easy to find him with all the tourists walking by, but after a little while I finally found him with some other friends he had made in his study abroad program. We walked through Piazza Venezia and to the Pantheon, where I ironically ran into someone I went to high school with that was doing Semester at Sea as well. Greg and I didn’t have too much time in Rome together, but I’m so glad we saw each other!

Piazza Venezia

This weekend has made me really appreciate where I am living for the next few months and excited to see even more of Rome next weekend while I’m here. There’s still a lot I haven’t done yet, so I guess we’ll see what else this amazing city has to offer.





American student studying abroad in Rome, Italy


Nicole Hellstern
Bentley University
JCU Study abroad Fall 2015




Learn more about studying abroad in Rome, Italy.

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