Shaelyn Fabik spent six weeks in Rome, Italy, going to class right off the Tiber River at Temple University Rome. She studied the courses of Italian Language I and Sustainable Environments. Staying in the neighborhood of Prati allowed Shaelyn to live like a local and experience Prati's many small businesses and restaurants. Shaelyn also invested in learning about the daily lives of the people of Rome by going grocery shopping, taking public transportation, going to mass in the Vatican city, and even experiencing the Italian healthcare system.
While the pandemic came with restrictions, studying abroad during this time provided a unique opportunity to enjoy Italy without crowds of tourists. Travel restrictions allowed Shaelyn and her fellow study abroad students to immerse themselves in Italian culture more than they would have in a "normal" year. Shaelyn was able to take the time to enjoy the diverse cities and regions of Italy including Florence, Venice, Verona, Naples, Pompeii, Amalfi, Salerno, Pisa, Todi, The Vatican, and Rome. While she stood where many have stood before, it was important to make the excursion as personal as possible. This involved making friends with not only her fellow students but also understanding the stories of those around her including friendly wait-staff and service workers and especially the Temple Rome professors and staff.
As an individual who is very interested in pursuing a career involving arts and culture, Italy served as the best place to study its beginnings. Rome is an especially important location for contemporary arts and culture. Shaelyn made sure to take advantage of this opportunity to learn from a multitude of artifacts from the beginning of art in history that are housed in Italy's many ancient landmarks including works from Michelangelo, Botticelli, and da Vinci. She also made sure to take note of modern Italian pop culture. This included an independent study on Eurovision, a popular European song contest that was occurring during Shaelyn’s time in Italy and Italy’s entry, the band Måneskin, ended up winning! This enriching experience inspired Shaelyn to continue to travel throughout her life and explore the global entertainment industry.