Well we are finally here! After months, years for some of us, we are finally here in ROME.

Everybody arrived at different times over the weekend, yet with everyone finally all settled into our three apartments in Trastevere (the 13th rione of Rome), we all went out to dinner as a new and excited class. We were welcomed by our passionate and loving teacher Barbra and some other academics as well. With our welcome bags on our shoulders and being refreshed by local snacks, we headed down into the uni garden to draw the two thousand year old Aqua duct.

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Incredible.

That was one of the first moments that really hit a lot of us as to how old this city is, and that we really were there.

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Over the rest of the week we toured all around Rome, sketch books in hand, soaking up the incredible history and extremely old and iconic buildings. It was incredible to have local Roman teachers take us around this amazing city. Starting early in the morning, meeting at a new landmark each day at 8.30 in the morning gave us a few hours of relatively cool weather before the scorching hot sun beat down on us all. Thank goodness Rome has so many free water sources scattered throughout the city, as we were constantly drinking to keep ourselves hydrated due to the strong heat. Everyone knows that Rome and Italy in general is very warm in summer!

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Each day we averaged around twelve kilometer days with uni, walking to new sites to practice drawing, and that’s not including getting to or from the amazing places when we had finished for the day.

As a new class that consisted of almost 95% Australian students, from different universities, we felt both at home and out of place. The majority of the time we stuck together, which when in a new and huge place was highly helpful in finding small obscure places, eating as much gelato as humanly possible and being followed for blocks by gypsies.

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One of this weeks highlights was getting admission into the Alphonse Mucha exhibition that had recently opened in Rome, along with getting to sit and draw such buildings as the Colosseum and Pantheon. The Venice Architecture Biennale is currently on, so a bunch of the Architecture students will be off to see it on a weekend in the next few weeks.

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This week has been full of wonder, blisters, huge culture shock and amazing food. Bring on the next three weeks!

By Kaswyn Hunt