A semester abroad

(Written for the Iowa State Study Abroad Center)



Rome, Italy

What are you currently doing?

I am currently somewhere in Europe climbing mountains, eating gelato, and seeing this beautiful world we live in. I will be spending the next four months studying graphic design, photography, and the Italian culture at the College of Design in Rome, Italy.

A little bit about me

A left brain creative inspired by the natural world. Two of my favorite places are the top of a mountain and the waves of any body of water. Past experiences have inspired me in my designs, my current mindset and the way I live my life. Packing up my life and simply going just makes sense to me, as long as I have my camera. As my life constantly shifts, I cherish every sunset, every person, every place, and every moment that teaches me along the way. 

Why study abroad?

"Live each day as if it were your last on this earth. I suggest this not as a prescription to be reckless or to abandon your responsibilities, but to remind you of how precious life really is," a quote by Richard Carlson from Don't Sweat the Small Stuff. I recently received this book from a person who has taught me a lot about life. My past experiences have inspired my mindset and the way I live my life. As cliche as it sounds, life is too short, so climb the nearest mountain, eat that second cup of gelato, put down your phone, and indulge yourself in something new. 

Since the beginning of college I knew I wanted to see the world. My freshman year I started traveling all over the United States with my water-ski team. I was constantly surrounded by like-minded people who wanted to embrace every moment and every new place we encountered. My mind set on the world started to change and I started to see the beauty in the simplest things. This actually brought me to the College of Design my second semester in college. My new discoveries introduced me to my passion for photography and graphic design.

I want to continue to create relationships with the people and the places I will encounter throughout my time here in Europe and throughout the rest of my life. I love editing the photographs I take and writing down whatever inspirational experience that may come to mind. So I would love to share my experience and photography with family, friends, and anyone interested in studying abroad. 



I am currently writing this between my classes in a little coffee shop overlooking the Tiberis River. The river runs through the center of Rome and each night the river is lit up by the moon and the surrounding city lights. I have been in Rome for almost a week now and life has been an adjustment, but a great adjustment. Each day has been filled with long walks, new foods, and trying not to look like a tourist. I live in a old-fashioned apartment on the top floor with six other girls. I am lucky enough to share a room with two of my best friends. Over the past week we have become best friends with our new roommates, I feel like we have known them forever. Our apartment is perfect and each night I sit out on our little terrace and listen to music and the sounds of the authentic neighborhood I live in. In the neighborhood you'll see clothing swaying from laundry lines, people singing, and your typical Roman lifestyle.

The College of Design here in Rome is breathtaking. Our studios are filled with ancient art, mosaic tiled flooring, and high decorated ceilings. For the next four months I will be studying graphic design, art history, photography, and the Italian culture.

On the first day one of my Italian professors already gifted me with his wisdom, "I don't want to spend all of my life with my phone in my face." This small quote from my photography professor should be an inspiration to everyone. We as humans need to start finding relationships with the world around us and not a relationship with our smart phones. I want to start fully being in the moment with new and old friends. I want to hear about peoples lives and learn about why they live and view life the way they do. This is when you truly make connections with people. 

I am excited to spend the next four months not only learning about myself, but learning Rome's rich culture and history. 

Can we stay longa in Sperlonga?

My first weekend in Italy


Sperlonga, a place with high tides, sandy beaches, and very little English. My first weekend here in Italy was amazing. My friends and I took a 7 euro train ride 1.5 hrs. north to the beautiful small town of Sperlonga. We arrived around lunch time at the Tyrrhenian Sea bordered by the town of Sperlonga and the nearby mountains. Sperlonga was very different from Rome because we were the only tourists in this small city. Our weekend consisted of swimming in the ocean, laying on the beach, eating at seaside resturaunts, and a little pick-up game of soccer with the local Italians. A quick weekend getaway, but a great start to my time here. 


Here's to the next four months!