Day in the Life

Mackenzie Barrall ’22

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Hi! My name is Mackenzie Barrall, though I also go by Mack, and I'm a junior at HWS. I'm an Architectural Studies major and a double minor in American Studies and European Studies. On campus I'm on the board of the Arts and Design Collective, and a member of Koshare.

During the spring of 2020 I was lucky enough to be able to study in Rome! It was such a great place to study architecture, and I was able to take a long weekend trip to Cinque Terre on the Northern coast. Though my semester abroad was cut short due to COVID-19, it was wonderful nonetheless.

Student

Here was my typical Tuesday while studying in Rome:

8 a.m. - I wake up and have breakfast, usually tea heated up on our stove and a pastry that I eat in the dining room of my apartment. Then I get ready for the day, chatting with my flatmates who are also HWS students. I collect all of my supplies for my architecture studio and double check that my Italian homework is done. If I have time, I might stop at the cafe just below the apartment for a cappuccino.

9.30 a.m. - This is the absolute latest that I can leave the apartment in order to make it to the studio on time. It's a 30-minute walk to the school building at Piazza del'Orologio from my apartment in Prati, which is only about a block away from the Vatican! The fastest way is to walk through St. Peter's Square, with the amazing St. Peter's Basilica, before continuing over the bridge, and finally to the studio.

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10 a.m. - My architecture studio is taught by Associate Professor of Art and Architecture Gabriella D'Angelo and is held in a converted storefront on a small cobblestone side street. The inspiration for this studio is the local produce of Rome and there are all sorts of fruits and vegetables sitting on desks being analyzed, sketched and abstracted.

12.45 p.m. - My studio ends and we all file out onto the street, on the lookout for lunch. We have just over an hour before our Italian class starts, so most of us go to a crowded cafe around the corner. I order in Italian and usually get pizza bianca, a local favorite, filled with different vegetables and mozzarella.

1:30 p.m. - After receiving my order, I sometimes walk a short ways to eat in the famous Piazza Navona, or more commonly right around the corner from the school and sit on the steps of a smaller piazza to eat in the sun.

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2 p.m. - I pack up my lunch and get ready to go to my Italian class. After climbing up the three large marble flights of stairs, I arrive at the school and head to the vending and coffee machines to get a snack and espresso before heading into the room.

2:15 p.m. - Our Italian class starts at 2:15 sharp with the familiar “Ciao a tutti!” Our teachers are happy to answer even the simplest questions about the language and culture and we ask a lot of them. We learn simple phrases that we use all the time outside class, like how to politely order at a restaurant, and practice speaking to one another. At about 3:15 we get a short break to collect ourselves, and grab more coffee, before diving into another hour of instruction.

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4:15 p.m. - Italian class is over! A chorus of “Ciao! Grazie!” erupts as we all leave the room and start the walk back to our apartments. Sometimes, if there isn't too much homework to be done, we might walk over by the Pantheon to get a sweet treat of gelato or cannoli!

5:30 p.m. - After stopping at the supermarket near our apartment, we get back and start cooking dinner. One of my favorite dinners is when we use fresh pasta and make Cacio e Pepe, a classic Roman dish, which we learned in a cooking class at the beginning of the semester.

7 p.m. - We eat dinner in our living room, with the windows open so we can catch the sunset above the buildings around us, and chat about the day or what sites we want to see over the weekend.

7:30 p.m. - After dinner I walk to the studio with another student to get a few hours of work in for my classes before heading back to the apartment.

11 p.m. - After returning from the studio, I text friends and family back home and send them any pictures I took while I was out and about before saying goodnight and going to bed.

It was a dream to have this opportunity and I hope this gave you a good look into my average day abroad! Feel free to reach out (mackenzie.barrall@hws.edu) if you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer whatever comes to mind.

Best,
Mackenzie Barrall ’22

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