Do As The Romans Do

Written by Adam May 19, 2014

As I was studying for my exams this past week, I was constantly looking for motivation. Why start reviewing my flash cards when that next episode of ‘Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ starts in exactly 14 seconds? And then I would look at the bulletin board on my bedroom wall, and I would see the CIMBA Italy brochure, the same one I put up back in September.

I’ll be in Italy in less than a week.

That thought was all the motivation I needed to study, to make sure that poor final exam grades didn’t rain all over my Italian parade. So I got up and studied, but after that next episode, of course.

My name is Adam Zogas, and I’m a junior at the University of Iowa. I’m double majoring in Marketing and Finance and I love telling people where I go to school. Ever since I got accepted into the CIMBA program, I wake up everyday more and more excited to finally go Italy.

The purpose of this blog will be to document how incredible and fulfilling the experience will be, and to show how studying abroad will be one of the best decisions you will ever make.

In the months leading up to my flight, it was easy to ignore all the boring stuff about the trip; the packing, getting a passport, making copies of literally every legal document that has your name and information on it, and convincing your mom that no, you won’t get kidnapped and disappear forever.

Now that my flight takes off in a few hours, all the errands I put off doing are coming back to haunt me. On its own, none of it is too much of a hassle, but I just finished finals week, my body needs time to recover from the probably lethal amount of Redbull I consumed while studying. I should be making packing lists and think of everything I’ll need for the month, instead I feel like Forrest Gump.

Too Tired

Luckily, my mom doesn’t trust her baby (me, youngest of four) to handle this, so all I have to do is point at the things I want to take with me and grunt like a caveman and they magically appear folded and organized in my suitcase.

This gives me some time to think about what this trip is really about, and what I want to get out of it. Never in my life have I left the country, or even flown on a plane by myself. I know, I know, this screams competent enough to handle solo international flight and living abroad.

So in addition to growing up in that regard, this is also the first time in my life I will be among people that are truly different than myself. At school, meeting ‘different’ people is basically, “You are from Iowa, I am from Illinois, we’re so different!” Now, instead of only seeing Europe and assorted Europeans on TV and in the news, I will actually be interacting with these people, and living among them in a place that is so foreign to me.

Living abroad, I will be presented with many opportunities; I hope that I have enough time in the day and the means to experience it all. I will certainly be stepping out of my comfort zone, but that’s what this trip is all about. It’s about gaining some perspective, experiencing a part of the world I have seen 0% of, and doing things that I have never done before. But, it’s like they say, when in Rome…

Thanks for reading,

Adam Zogas

Blogger: Adam, University of Iowa

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