Q&A Spotlight: Chris Neutzling

Name: Chris Neutzling
Major: Criminal Justice
Hometown: Crofton, MD
Destination: Rome, Italy
Institution: American University of Rome

Study abroad, Rome, Italy

Study abroad in Rome, Italy

Q1: Your favorite subject & ours: Food! Best dish? Worst dish? New recipe you picked up?

The best pasta I ever had in my life was in Florence.  Also, I was on a personal mission to try pizza everywhere I went.  Simply put, you can’t really go wrong at most places around Italy.  As for worst dish, I can’t name anything specific that stood out.  My best advice would be to get food at the none touristy places because that it where you will find the most authentic and delicious food.

Q2: Talk about your favorite spot in your home away from home. Where? Why?

The Trevi Fountain….at night.  Yes, everyone knows this place but not everyone goes at three in the morning, where it is just you and several others.  Take a stroll after a night out to the fountain and you will be at peace away from all the tourist distractions.  I spent my last night here in Rome.  My friends and I stayed out close to five in the morning just enjoying the scenery.

Trevi Fountain, Rome, Italy

Trevi Fountain, Rome, Italy

Q3: Did a local point you to a market, pub, or park you didn’t know about? Pass it on.

For my school, the hot spots were a sandwich deli right up the street and an Irish bar located near the center of Rome.  At the deli, the man behind the counter spoke English (as you will find many Italians do) and was extremely friendly.  By the end of my stay, he would recognize me and have my sandwich prepared and ready.

Q4: Are there things you don’t miss from your destination? What? Why?

Public Transportation.  The public transportation in Rome is best described as unreliable.  I know what you are thinking, isn’t Europe supposed to have fantastic transportation?  Well Rome buses basically choose when they feel like coming.  There was several times when I waited for a bus close to an hour when they are supposed to come every fifteen minutes.  The tram, on the other hand, did run on its scheduled time.  However, during my stay workers when on strike several times, so no tram then.

Q5: You’re actually homesick for something from abroad. What? Why?

Honestly, I would probably say my classmates.  I did not know a single person in my program going into it.  By my last night in Rome, nearly all of the study abroad summer students were going out together.  It is pretty rare to have nearly an entire school that does this.  I was surprised at how much of a tight knit group we were and I would love to have a reunion with everyone someday, in Rome of course!

Q6: What new vocabulary have you added to your repertoire after study abroad?

“Vorrei” which means, “I would like,” was my go to when ordering food places.  Sometimes I would cheat and point and say, “questo,” which means “this.”  Other times ordering I would probably butcher trying to pronounce the word right.

Q7: You could hardly believe your eyes when you saw … What? Why?

The David, a masterpiece by Michelangelo.  I am not too big on art.  One of my friends was really excited to see this sculpture and I kept thinking to myself, “what’s the big deal?”  Boy was I misunderstood.  When I first saw The David, I stood for a good ten minutes just staring at it.  If you ever have a chance to visit Florence I recommend going to see this sculpture.  The intricate details on it are astounding for something carved out of marble.  You can even see individual tendons on his hands!

Q8: Where did you travel? How did you choose? Was it difficult to plan?

I had the pleasure of taking a trip down the Amalfi Coast to Capri and various other cities along the way.  This was through the school so traveling was a piece of cake.  If you have to plan your own trip I recommend using, Bus2aps.  My friends used them several times and had a blast.  Also, I would recommend traveling to Capri if you get the chance.  It is one of the most beautiful places you will find in the world.

Q9: What challenged you while you were abroad? Why?

Believe it or not, my worst day happened to be the first day arriving.  I almost lost my wallet on the plane, which is probably the worst way to start any trip.  I was rushed back to my apartment alone, did not know a single person nor had any way of contacting them.  I was tired and grumpy from such a long flight.  Not knowing what to do, I decided to take a nap.  I woke up several hours later to my new roommates entering the apartment.  Things got much better from there.

Q10: PARTING WORDS. What would you say to students worried about studying abroad? 

The best journeys answer questions you would never think to ask.  Think outside the box, try news things, and be adventurous.  You are going to mess up sometimes and things are going to happen, it’s how you respond that’s important.  Always stay calm and positive.  You will be rewarded when looking back on your experiences.

Keep calm and study abroad

Keep calm!