Jen in front of the Roman Coliseum

Ciao! My name is Jennifer Leech, I’m 22 and right now I am studying abroad in Rome, Italy. I was born and raised in Petoskey, Michigan, before I left to attend college at Northern Michigan University as a history major and music minor. I am lucky enough to be able to take history classes in one of the most historic places in the world. That alone was reason enough to make my journey to Italy for the International Studies Abroad program.

February 2010

Right now I’m located in Rome Italy. How awesome is that? The weather has been rainy the past few days, but I think I can manage rain instead of snow. Rome is a magical city. I’ve been here since September, yet I still get mesmerized by the sights, sounds and smells. I live in the area of Monte Verde, which means Green Mountain. It is located about 10 minutes from the city center by bus. As I walk along my street, I know that the only way I can communicate is by Italian since most of the residents around my apartment do not speak English.

Jen's school in Rome

My School in Rome is very tiny compared to NMU. The American University of Rome is about 500 students strong, with more than 50% study abroad students. This change isn’t "unwelcomed", since you can easily befriend the entire school.

My favorite spot this past week was the Villa Pamphilj. This is located in the largest park in Rome. It is also a 5 minute walk from my apartment.The grounds are beautiful all year long. This villa used to belong to one of the royal families of Rome. It was gifted to the city to be used as a gallery and meeting hall. The grounds surrounding the Villa are always filled with runners or cyclists.

 Villa Pamphilj

This past week has been rainy, typical of the month of January, so I haven’t been able to get out to many of the sights, but I hope the February brings better weather for awesome exploring. Till then, Ciao ciao ragazzi!