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Stories From Abroad: Adjusting to Europe

Joan Corcoran, ’12, Editor from Abroad

Time flies. I still pinch myself every once in a while because it’s hard to wrap my head around the fact that I live in Rome.

I have been here for about four weeks now and it still seems surreal.  I have started adjusting to the full swing of things at school, and actually started to cook my own meals.  It is definitely a bit of a struggle with the gas stove and my lack of experience in the kitchen.

I’ve been enjoying my Italian diet of Nutella, tons of carbs, mounds of mozzarella and tons of Prosciutto. There are still some American things that we all miss.

Last week Robbie Carbone ’13, Chris Indrisano ’13, Brianna Trabucco ’13, and Anastasia Gallardo ’13 came over with a few of our new study abroad friends to my apartment where I live with Agata Adamczuk, ’13 (Beacon photo editor), we had “Taco Tuesday.” Bri, Robbie, and Chris all brought along the ingredients and we began cooking.  I have never made tacos before, which actually is not that hard, but was very pleased with the outcome.

Throughout the past few weeks we’ve all been going through such a huge life change and it’s nice to have some sense of home — whether it’s ‘Taco Tuesday’ or just a few of us talking about funny memories from school.

While still adjusting and adapting to the Italian culture, I decided to take a trip.  Where did I decide to go for my first European excursion? Well, no other place then Prague!  Prague is the capital of the Czech Republic and is also one of the coldest places I have ever been to in my entire life.  Though the cold was anything but enjoyable the city itself was beautiful.  It feels as if you have been placed back into medieval times.

Also, it was interesting to see how this “Central European” society functions compared to Italy.  Their meals have three main components — meat, potatoes, and beer.  Every meal on every menu is described as “hearty” and the variety of beer that is offered stems from levels of bitterness to levels of fruitiness.

The currency is also very strange, because their bills start at 100 crown and can go up to 1,000 crown.  You feel as if you are carrying around insane amounts of money when you are actually only carrying 50 American dollars.

After spending three days in this extremely cold country I was looking forward to the 35-degree weather that was awaiting me in Rome. For our next trip out of Italy Agata and I will be heading to Budapest, Hungary, to explore a new culture and to further engulf ourselves in our surroundings.

Arrivederce, Merrimack!

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