Work now, play later

Midterms season is upon us here in Rome, and it is not looking as nice as most of us had hoped. We all assumed we were here on vacation as we took to the streets of Rome and explored the ancient ruins and took trains to explore other cities in Italy. And then came midterms week.

Our classes here are set up slightly differently than what most of us are used to, mostly for UC Berkeley and UC Merced students who are used to the semester system rather than the quarter system. Here, all students are signed up for at least two six-week courses, and an overwhelming majority are signed up for an Italian-language class that lasts only three weeks. This means that not only is it midterm season, but it is also finals week for our language course. Every class we have has a midterm, or final, and they are all structured slightly differently. For example, my language class is solely an oral exam presentation in the form of a skit, and my other class’s exam has essay questions.

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The University of California Study Center in Rome, Italy (credit: Esteban Martinez)

While we are abroad in a country halfway across the world, and we are having fun and going on adventures, we cannot forget that we are students firsts — we are studying abroad. As my father always said: “Work now, play later.”

There are plenty of adventures here in the beautiful of country of Italy, but nevertheless, we have to take care of business first. Though I’ll admit it is rather difficult to do since we are in the ROME! Decisions, decisions …

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It is time for midterms and finals alike at the UC Center … (credit: Esteban Martinez)
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