Amanda Romero – An unforgettable experienceRome Internships, Fall 2011

I would strongly recommend anyone studying abroad to do an internship, because I cannot imagine my study abroad experience without one. Claudia, the woman who hired me, has taught me so much during my time here. She is an excellent writer. I was taken aback by her creative, smooth and vivid writing because that style is something I have not been introduced to in my studies of broadcast journalism at Penn State. She has transformed not only my writing skills, but my way of viewing things and I will always admire and respect her for that. She instilled a great level of trust in me with both the magazine and her family, particularly with her one-year-old son whom I babysat. It was nice spending time with Claudia outside of the office and getting to know her in a completely different setting. My relationship with Claudia was stronger than the relationships I had with many other students at IES. Her husband also has inspired me to better my photography skills, as it will surely help in my future career. My internship allowed me to adapt to my surroundings a lot more quickly, which personally helped me a lot because I was not enjoying my time in Rome for the first couple of weeks. Through my work, and even through travelling to work, I inherited the deepest appreciation of my surroundings and studying abroad in general. I always looked forward to writing new articles for the magazine because it was exciting to know they would be published, as I have never had any of my work published before. Having to meet the 10-hour weekly requirement was great because it always kept me very busy and productive. I purchased a bicycle because my internship was pretty far from my apartment in Trastevere. In going to pick up Claudia’s son with her, we biked around the busy city of Rome. I was impressed at how daring she was in riding in between moving cars and mopeds, riding in the streets and not on the sidewalks, and cutting off on-coming traffic. I became so confident in my bike-riding skills from that point forward, and ended up cutting off 10 minutes from my commute to and from work. Claudia was the only one in the office that could speak English so it’s understandable why the two of us developed such a great relationship. She told me of places to eat and shop, and even pointed out a couple of Halloween stores I could go to buy a costume. I think that her being American, and especially coming from New York, was the reason I felt so “at home”. We celebrate the same holidays, speak the same language, and come from the same state, so I couldn’t say this internship, or rather my relationship with Claudia, fully immersed me into Italian culture, but she surely made me feel comfortable and that this internship was the best pick for me. We will both be in New York for the holidays and have already talked about meeting up for some coffee. It will be great to reunite and reminisce on such a wonderful experience and I do hope that she enjoyed having me as an intern as much as I enjoyed having her as my employer, my teacher, and my friend.
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