Spotlight – Sally Woodcock

29 Aug Spotlight – Sally Woodcock

Sally Woodcock, hailing from Portland, Oregon, is a degree-seeking student at the American University of Rome. She is in her second year and studies Art History. Sally lived in Vietnam from the age of 4-10 and she believes these travels inspired her to seek out an international education later in life. Her interest in art led her to Rome, where on-site classes, in world famous museums, replace the slideshows of state-side universities.

GANZO! – What has been the most exciting thing for you about being able to pursue your degree in Italy?

Sally – It’s funny, because for me, I find some of the things I look forward to the most, are the mundane, everyday tasks I barely pay mind to back home. One of my favorite things to do is believe it not, grocery shopping. I’ll go down to the open market by my house, and have a hilarious interaction with the family that owns the best stand. I’ll ask about the new veggies in season, the father will offer me a taste of an apple or an olive, and it gives me a great opportunity to practice my Italian.

I study art history, so having some of the world’s most famous museums and galleries close by makes me pretty happy. I also love having on-site classes at these places because I get reduced entrance and my teachers are great tour guides.

Being in the center of Europe opens the doors to weekend travel pretty much anywhere in Europe, but I try and stay local so I can work on my Italian!

G! – What has been a challenge for you adapting to everyday Roman life?

S – Hmm, in the beginning, the language barrier for sure, but the more I learned, the more I appreciated Rome, even for its faults. Waiting for a bus gets way more interesting when you can listen in on Italians chatting away with each other.

G! – What do you do when you want a taste of home?

S – I snack on some Trader Joe’s trail mix packs I brought a boat-load of, or if I’m feeling ambitious, I’ll go to the movies. Rome has a great movie theater in Piazza della Republica that’s run by Warner Brothers so they get all the latest Hollywood releases in the original language (Italians like to dub everything!).  There are always places like Hard Rock Café if you’re craving some Americano food, but I eat pretty healthy and Hard Rock is crazy expensive.

G! – Where have you been in Europe that you would recommend GANZO! readers check out?

S – I love Berlin and yes I have the t-shirt. I didn’t expect to love Germany as much as I did, but Berlin completely turned all of my assumptions on their heads. There is the most incredible art in Berlin. They have an entire island devoted to museums with some of the most awe-inspiring exhibits I have seen, anywhere in the world. Unlike Rome, trains and busses are speedy and reliable, which is great when you’re traveling with a limited amount of time. I found it to actually be less expensive than Rome, which is always nice. I can’t wait to go back!

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