How Your Study Abroad Experience Will Improve Your Memory

study abroad in Italy

Whether you’re studying for an exam or you’re just trying to remember what to buy at the grocery store, improving your memory has many benefits. When you study abroad at John Cabot University, your ability to remember information will help you both inside the classroom and out.

What may surprise you, however, is that there are specific aspects to studying in Rome that can really give your memory a boost. From a mid-afternoon riposo to using the sights of the city to create your own “memory palace,” here are a few ways studying in Rome can help improve your memory.

Eating Like the Romans Do Could Enhance Your Memory

What you eat plays an important role on your physical health, but did you know it affects brain health as well? For example, foods that are high in LDL cholesterol (i.e., bad cholesterol), such as red meat and dairy, speed up the formation of plaque in your brain, which makes it harder for you to remember things.

Luckily, there are foods that do just the opposite. The best diet for memory happens to be the Mediterranean diet, which, of course, is especially popular throughout Italy. Mediterranean foods, like olive oil, fish, fruits, and vegetables, are excellent at improving memory retention. So, while you’re in Rome, be sure to browse the fresh food markets and dine at plenty of restaurants for some memory-boosting food.

A Mediterranean diet can help improve your memory

A Mediterranean diet can help improve your memory

Enjoying the Italian Riposo May Help Your Memory

The easiest way to improve your memory is through sleep. Getting enough sleep helps your brain recharge and it ensures that the information you’ve learned throughout the day is less likely to be forgotten. You probably know from personal experience that when you’re tired, it is difficult to learn new information.

It’s not just the eight hours of sleep at night that can boost your memory, though. Even short naps during the day can have a dramatic impact on memory performance. One study, for example, found that a 45-60 minute nap can boost memory by five times. That’s great news when you attend American college in Rome, since many people and businesses here still follow the Italian custom of riposo. The riposo is a long mid-afternoon break that many Italians use to rest, eat, and nap. So, if you want to improve your memory, a good idea is to do as the Romans do and participate in the riposo.

Make Rome Your Own Memory Palace When You Study Abroad in Italy

Among the most famous methods of improving memory is the memory palace technique. A memory palace is where you visualize a place you know well and associate it with unrelated items, such as 19th-century history or the periodic table, for example.

When you study abroad in Italy, you can use the memory palace technique in creative ways to remember useful information. You can even use Rome as your own memory palace! Do a walking tour of the city and repeat this tour enough times so that it is implanted in your memory. Try to associate each interesting sight you see with a piece of information you need to remember, such as a math equation, a historical date, or the name of a Roman mythological character. Now, each time you think about that walkthrough of Rome, you’ll also be able to remember this important information you’ve associated with it.

A walking tour of Rome can help you turn the Eternal City into your memory palace

A walking tour of Rome can help you turn the Eternal City into your memory palace

Do you want to study in Rome?

Contact John Cabot University to learn about our programs and study abroad scholarships.

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