Where are you from, and what brought you to Rome?
I grew up outside of Boston, Massachusetts, in a suburb called Newton. I went to a school called Buckingham, Browne, and Nichols (BB&N) in Cambridge. BB&N has a longstanding semester abroad program, and they offer a few options of where students can go both in their sophomore and junior years. St. Stephen's was one of those options. I was the youngest of four kids, and all of my siblings had graduated high school and left the house, so I was desperate for an adventure and to not be the only child in the house. So I studied abroad at St. Stephen's for one semester, my junior year of high school.
Can you describe what your time at St. Stephen's was like or share any particularly fond memories?
What drew me to the program was that it wasn't a specific study abroad program. The other programs were programs where a group of 20 students as a cohort all together have an experience. I liked that St. Stephen's dropped me into an international high school along with some international students studying abroad, but mostly I was going to high school with a group of kids who lived in Rome. And so that was exciting and also really nerve-wracking. I didn't speak any Italian. I remember showing up and being overwhelmed by the number of languages the kids spoke.
Coming from the States, that was not a part of my high school experience. I took my first art history class in Rome with Pamela Christie. That is certainly a very fond memory. We would go on field trips every Wednesday, and that was how I saw so much of the city because she got us out into the city to visit places that I would not necessarily go to as a teenager. I had freedom and independence for the first time in a tangible way as a 16-year-old in Rome. I recall being able to adventure, explore and have a sense of independence in the city.