Alright so the time has come for me to pass down my knowledge to all the future JFRC students. A special shout out to all the people who contributed some of these tips!
I will be adding more and more tips as they come to mind.
Background information: The JFRC is in the Balduina (on Monte Mario) neighborhood in Rome. Monte Mario is considered the 8th hill of Rome (the 8th of the original 7 hills of Rome). It is about a 30-45 minute bus ride to the downtown city center of Rome.
The building houses the classrooms, dorms, gym, and mensa. Everything is in the same building which makes it a very small community. Pictured to the left is the courtyard.
Don’t be freaked out about the dorm rooms-they’re nothing like the luxurious spaces of Georgetown or Fordham, but you’ll learn to call them home (or at least your place of slumber). Additionally, if there is a problem just email JFRCproblem@mclink.it and they’ll come and solve it ASAP. Submitted by Rachel Babbits
Don’t panic about the wifi-you’ll come to love not having wifi all the time and you really don’t need it (other than homework and the occasional social media update for the parents). Be present & love your time here! I IMPLORE you to not just stay in your room all day. Get out and explore Monte Mario, or at least sit and drink a Cappuccino at Rinaldo’s. Make yourself available without the distraction of social media. Submitted by Julia McCauley
Be confident when using your Italian-even the small things you learn the first few weeks while here. Overall they don’t care if you’re right, they just care if you’re trying. Italians are very friendly and love to chit-chat, so show them you are interested in their culture and you’ll be instant friends. Submitted by Aaron Carlson
Get to Mensa early-if you want the best yogurt and fruit options you gotta get there early. I have went ahead and posted the hours below for your convenience! Submitted by Kiki Peterson
The academics are not as much of a joke as people make it seem-especially as a Loyola student. You’ll have to readjust how you balance and use your time and live your life. Some of the other schools are just Pass/Fail or have audited classes, but for Loyola all your grades count. Make this your all As semester. Don’t overload yourself or take it too seriously, but understand that these things do follow you back to Lakeshore Campus. Submitted by Aaron Carlson
Do not judge the study trips by their price. Speaking from experience, no price could quantify the knowledge you gain by partaking in a SLA led study trip at the JFRC. Also, in reality, travel is expensive and you need to understand this before coming. Yes you can find cheap Ryanair or Vueling flights, but the costs add up. Don’t be nervous about this, just accept it and make the most of your time. Set goals for yourself and be confident that studying abroad is a once in a lifetime opportunity that you just can’t put a price on.
Be patient & set limits. There are no secrets at the JFRC. The JFRC is incredibly small. I never thought that it would feel this small. But essentially, like I said before, you are living, eating, and schooling all in the same small building. There are no secrets at the JFRC, so get off campus & enjoy Rome. Also, take time to yourself. Take time to reflect on your experience in Rome & traveling and don’t just listen to what others say.
Even if you do have Wifi, do not just sit in your room. Jump around the building and find new spots to enjoy. I personally love sitting in Rinaldo’s Bar as it is very social.Use your time here intentionally as it goes by way too fast.
Practice your Italian. You’ll need it and you just can’t avoid it. Be confident & do your best to at least try to speak Italian to the locals. They’ll appreciate you more for it.
Get to know the SLAs & Staff. They have the best recommendations for places to see. Ask them questions and use them as a resource. That’s why they’re here. They have a lot of really cool things to say so listen up!
See more than Shari Vari and the Abbey. Some personal favorites are Fabrica (amazing drinks and appertivo) and La Buca di Ripetta (amazing authentic restaurant by Piazza del Popolo). For the best cappuccino in town, go to Melí Melo behind Villa Borghese.
Get to know the Buses and Metro. They’re your only lifeline to the real world of Rome. Yes, despite popular belief, the JFRC is not right in the center of Rome. It takes effort to get off campus and go explore. Learn the public transportation systems so exploring will be a piece of cake.
Important Maps & Guides:
The Dorm Rooms & Courtyard