How can an American college student stand out more in an incredibly competitive job-seeking environment? For more students than ever the answer is to spend a semester abroad. In the last fifteen years the number of American students who study abroad has doubled. Students are leaving behind their homes and comfortable routines to see what else the world has to offer them.
What follows is often a semester of stress, exhaustion, fear, and ineffable growth. Most students treat it like a sprint - their last chance to travel before finishing school, finding work, starting a family, and settling down. As if to spend a semester abroad is to squeeze a lifetime into a season.
“I love that every week I get to say that this is my new favorite place”.
Many students find themselves heartbroken on an almost weekly basis. They are forced to leave the beautiful capital of culture that they were only getting acquainted with days ago, and cast themselves forward into the next one. Often neglecting their school work, social lives, and sleep schedule. It becomes a life of travelling over international borders on a regular basis. A life where adventure is the new normal.
These photos were taken over two years travelling and living with groups of American students living in Rome, Italy for a semester. These were never meant to become a cohesive story. More like the outtakes of my daily work of promoting the campus with photos.
"But he found that a traveller's life is one that includes much pain amidst its enjoyments. His feelings are forever on the stretch; and when he begins to sink into repose, he finds himself obliged to quit that on which he rests in pleasure for something new, which again engages his attention, and which also he forsakes for other novelties." - Mary Shelley; 'Frankenstein'