Italian architecture and art has been influencing artists for generations. From the Coliseum to the Trevi fountain, one does not have to look far for inspiration. Rome, the heart of Italian culture, was where Jessi Wojtys spent four weeks participating in a drawing class, and an Italian language class, at American University of Rome. Both classes allowed Jessi to immerse herself in Italian culture.
During the drawing class Jessi used Italian art as inspiration. The class would go out into the city, and pick something like the side of a brick building or a meadow landscape to try to replicate. “We would start with easier things like buildings then move to more intricate things like statues,” explained Jessi. The drawing class also focused on technique, “we would use different materials all the time from pen and ink, to pencil,” said Jessi. Jessi did not have a background in art, but she wanted to take the art class in order to immerse herself as much as possible in Italian culture. During the art class she said, “it was a lot of fun to go out and explore new places in the process, it was a great experience.”
While in Rome, Jessi also took an Italian language class. The language class helped her to learn the basics and be able to communicate with people at shops and other locals. Jessi was able to use what she learned in the classroom with Italian speakers, “they would be like that was great, but this time say this. They really appreciated that you knew a little and tried,” said Jessi.
This was Jessi’s first time abroad, which caused some nerves, but also excitement, “The thought of going over the ocean kind of scared me but at the same time as soon as I said goodbye to my parents and made it through security, this sense of adventure set in and it was really exciting,” said Jessi.
Jessi’s advice to those considering going abroad is simply, “don’t hesitate.” Like most students Jessi was a little nervous about studying abroad, “I did want to study abroad, but there was that hesitation of, ‘am I going to have enough money?’ ‘Will it fit in my schedule?’ If you really want to make it work do it and you won’t regret it,” said Jessi, “I can say without a doubt it was the best experience of my life so far.”