Thais is a Junior at Temple University studying Neuroscience. She participated in the Temple Rome Entry Year Program where she studied abroad in Rome for her first year at Temple before finishing her degree at Main Campus. This gave her the chance to explore the Italian culture and to have a better understanding about social issues in Italy. Now, in Philadelphia, she is working on campus, is involved in different clubs such as the Brazilian Student Association, One Health Temple and She's the First, and is doing research on two different labs at Temple. In her free time, she enjoys exploring new cultures and places, as well as being with her friends and family.

As a student ambassador for the Rome Entry Year Program, Thais is always willing to connect with students who are thinking about following the same academic journey. Don't hesitate to reach out to hear about her experience at

Learn More About Thais

Q: Why did you originally choose the Temple Rome Entry Year Program?

I chose the Rome Entry Year Program because I knew it would be a unique chance to explore a different country and culture, while gaining independence and responsibility. In my mind, the program was the perfect opportunity to expand my horizons and develop cultural awareness, taking one more step towards becoming a global citizen. Also, coming from a small high school, I really liked the idea of starting college with a smaller group of people and then transitioning to Main Campus - which truly ended up being great for me. The opportunity of getting to know new places, traveling independently, and studying in one of the most beautiful countries in Europe definitely attracted me. 

Q: In what ways did studying abroad in Rome help you grow?

I feel that I have become more responsible and independent. Going to Rome for my first year of college was a really huge step outside of my comfort zone. I was constantly being thrown into situations where I needed to learn how to take care of myself and figure things out independently. These types of situations have forced me to learn with my mistakes and gain responsibility for myself. 

Traveling by myself, for example, was something new for me - I had to figure out where I wanted to go, book hotels, schedule trains and flights and make sure I wouldn't miss any of them. All of that while still maintaining the normal academic responsibilities from college life. Now I feel that I am much more responsible and able to handle things on my own.

Q: What do you wish you had known before studying in Rome?

I wish I knew, from the beginning, how accessible traveling was around the country.  When I was there, I didn't realize the variety of ways in which you can travel around the country - from airplanes to trains and buses.  If I knew how accessible all of that was from the get-go, I think I would have explored more the small cities around Rome and all over Italy. You really don't have to go too far to have a great culturally immersive experience!

Q: What's an underrated place that everyone has to see when coming to Rome?

There are definitely a lot of them and the good thing about staying a whole year there is that you get to see and experience things beyond the tourist sites. Some of my favorites were: watching the sun setting behind the Vatican standing in Ponte Umberto I, sitting down for a picnic in Parco Degli Acquedotti, admiring the beauties of Chiesa del Gesù and Santa Maria dell'Anima, or dinking a spritz while viewing the whole city at the Gianicolo.

Q: How would you compare your experience at Temple Rome to your experience in Philadelphia so far?

I think both feel really rewarding and have allowed me to grow so much, but in different ways. While in Rome, I took more time to explore the culture and travel around, growing and developing myself as a global citizen. In Philadelphia, I am able to take advantage of so many professional and academic opportunities, getting more and more immersed in my field of study. My first year in Rome was essential for my personal growth and to get to Philadelphia as a different, more responsible person. Now being here I feel ready to face challenges and explore opportunities, growing academically and professionally. 

Q: What are your future goals?

In the future, I hope to use the intercultural abilities I acquired through this experience in whatever career path I may choose. I want to be able to bring a diversity-oriented and open-minded perspective to everything that I do. Also, I aspire to use the knowledge that I acquire in the classroom and apply it to real life issues and social justice. I want to create a bridge between the sciences and society. 

Q: What is some advice you would give to students starting their degree at Temple Rome?

I would say to be open-minded, take the time to appreciate Italian culture, enjoy every second and take advantage of every opportunity. I would also recommend exploring Italy as much as possible. Even though there are a lot of incredible places in Europe that one should visit if they have the chance to, going around the country and being able to explore the different sides of Italian culture and the uniqueness of each region definitely adds a different layer to your college experience, making it feel more immersive.