My name is Manuela Amadori, I am 19 and I am a freshman at John Cabot University, where I am studying International Affairs . I was born and lived all my life in Trento until last year, when I decided to move to Rome. Moving south to Rome wasn’t such an obvious decision. I had a million concerns: how could I leave my family and friends? Could I leave my hometown and thrust myself into the hectic life of Italy’s capitol? Was I willing to change my style of life and move to the “south”? Was moving so far from home really worth it?
My greatest fear before starting University was not finding friends. Instead, this turned out to be really easy. From Ecuador to Russia and from Italy to China, at John Cabot I immediately discovered an international and unique environment. Clubs, sports teams and extracurricular activities enable everyone to interact with everyone else. Even the library becomes a meeting point where you make new friends. Plus, living with five other girls, each one from a different place, has taught me how to dance bollywood dances, cook Arab bread, celebrate Thanksgiving and discuss international issues throughout the day.
When I told my parents that I wanted to study abroad (through JCU’s Direct Exchange Program), my father said: “You are already abroad!” He meant that Rome was a foreign place. Although if my parents and relatives were initially pretty skeptical about my decision to move to Rome, today they say: “Send us a slice of the Colisseum and a picture of pasta alla carbonara.”
The lifestyle of these two cities is very different: in Trento you run, in Rome you walk. I share an apartment with girls from the south and the north of Italy –besides those from abroad—and I realize that an area where the two parts of Italy always disagree is: punctuality. Although Italy is in the same time zone, the north and south seem to have different points of view of what it means to be on time, just as the climate in the north has beautiful white snow and the south has bright sun. Furthermore, in a small city like Trento, distances are manageable while in Rome they are huge, and time slips through your fingers as you spend it on public transportation that isn’t exactly passenger-friendly. In Trento it takes five minutes to get to the center of town, in Rome it takes much longer. For me, living in Rome means that every day I feel like a tourist and discover new things to enjoy.
To sum up, leaving northern Italy for the south was not traumatic: even if the buses are not always on time it’s not the end of the world, if it doesn’t snow at Christmas and the pasta all’amatriciana doesn’t taste like polenta, that’s fine! Living in one of the most beautiful cities in the world and studying in an international university is my dream come true!
Read the Italian version here.