Sophomore CE major Leah Martino described her "rollercoaster" experience at Temple Rome so far. 
Are the Spanish Steps Rome's version of Beury Beach? A place where anyone can "fare una pausa" from a long day of classes and watch people go by? Well, not quite. 
The famous steps leading down Rome's Piazza di Spagna are a magnet for tourists—with further distinction of being romanticized in the Audrey Hepburn film "A Roman Holiday." Beaury Beach is the infamous perch for Owls on Main Campus during warm weather. Another big difference between Rome and North Philly? The coffee. But, that's to be expected when you're (literally) in Rome.
"I've already had espresso that was so amazing I'm not sure I'll ever be able to go back to drinking American drip coffee," said Leah Martino, a sophomore CE major who is part of the Temple Rome program studying abroad for the semester. 
The program is geared towards Mechanical and Civil Engineering majors, specifically second-semester sophomores. These majors share the same core curriculum classes in the first two years. She's traveled before, so Leah was prepared for a packed schedule, alternating between her engineering classes, learning Italian and venturing out into the Eternal City. 
"I do something new every day and don't think I'll ever run out of new things during my time here. Walking around Rome is like a history lesson in itself," she said. 
The advantage of studying at Temple Rome is that students can take the same classes in Rome as they would at 12th and Norris, including three towards their major—Leah is taking Mechanics of Solids, Engineering Dynamics, and Thermodynamics—making it just another semester at Temple. Just 4,300 miles away. 
"A lot of people in Rome speak English, so while there's plenty of opportunity to practice your Italian, it's also really easy to get by without it. Between going to school and exploring the beautiful city that is Rome, there's almost no time to even get homesick."
Between the curriculum and surroundings, Leah was quick to note that she's learned another important lesson: balance. 
"I've gotten accustomed to working really hard during the week to let loose a little on the weekends and take advantage of my surroundings. That motivation to get the work done has been propelling me to do better in my classes altogether," she said.
Freshmen interested in exploring Temple Rome for their sophomore years can talk to your advisor and visit