Welcome to Valley Overseas. We’ll hear from students exploring new lands full of strange customs, seemingly impenetrable language barriers, and Euro-trash. They’ll dish out the good, bad and the ugly of living in a home-stay, and the tales of discount airlines. From mixed-up vocab to drool-worthy people in fantastic fashions, let us show you the experiences of a lifetime.
As a Penn State student living abroad, there are plenty of things I miss about State College.
I long for the beautiful green campus, rowdy Saturday nights and of course my friends. But one thing I didn’t expect to miss as much as I do is the Penn State school spirit that envelops everyone in Happy Valley. I’ve been in Rome so long that now this feels like my home. I feel a sort of loyalty to this city.
One of activities I decided to attend in my newly beloved city was a Roma soccer game in the Olympic stadium. It was an interesting night to say the least, and I noticed some major differences between a Roma game and a Penn State football game.
First, there’s no tailgating before the game (yes, it is possible to attend a sporting event without tailgating). Granted, my friends and I decided to have a couple beers and some pasta before the game, but it was hardly the same as the event that is tailgating around Beaver Stadium. In place of tailgating it was a mad rush into the stadium being bombarded by Roma t-shirt stands and sandwich carts, the same type of stuff we see on the streets of Rome every day.
Second, our seats were in a section that was blocked off from native Romans because they get so into the game that it would be too dangerous for us to be near them in the stands. When their team scored, the Roman crowd waved their flags and sang louder than the Penn State student section (I didn’t think that was possible). But the craziest and most unexpected parts of their celebration were the red and gold smoke cannons that would accompany the scoring celebrations. Nothing like that would make it inside Beaver Stadium and I have to admit, I’m jealous.
Even though I am a Penn State girl for life, I could definitely see myself loving Roma and the Roman spirit for a long time. I couldn’t help but feel the pride of the crowd as they perfectly harmonized to their Roma songs and waved their scarves with the sway of the music. The Roma victory was the perfect way to end the night and made me realize how much I can’t wait to return to Beaver Stadium in the fall.
Photo credit: Melissa Lichter