Introducing Our Student of the Week: Hui Li

Girl standing and smiling at Temple Rome

Welcome to Our Student of The Week! Hui Li is a junior at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, studying for a semester at Temple Rome. As a double major in classics and psychology, Hui is looking forward to seeing and experiencing in Rome what she’s only read in books.


Q&A with Hui:

What’s one thing people are surprised to know about you?

People are usually surprised that I speak English well! In Rome specifically, I picked up words quickly and was able to use my skills by ordering my monthly pass or food in Italian. I think people are surprised at my ability to not only learn but utilize the Italian language so fast.

How do you think your experience at Temple Rome will impact you?

I think being in a different country will definitely impact me. For me, being at another institution being away from home, adapting to an entirely new lifestyle and way of studying has been a process. My experience has taken me to places like Todi and Titignano, which I would’ve never seen or encountered before without studying abroad. Also, events such as the Afro-Italian identity culture talk or excursion in Villa Guilia wouldn’t have been possible at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) or the United States.

Favorite musician or band you’ve recently become a fan of?

Il Volo, an Italian operatic pop trio. I heard of them after following Eurovision and they scored very well in 2015. I listen to their music as it helps with my Italian.

Hidden gem in Rome?

The San Giovanni metro station. Currently, metro C is in construction and it’s been delayed for so long because each time they dig to make the station, they encounter ancient artifacts and have to stop to investigate. People down at San Giovanni have actually displayed the artifacts where they are found and converted the station into a museum of sorts, including timelines of how deep you are underground and the period it corresponds to. So if you go down the elevator, essentially you’re going back in time.

What is one thing you’re looking forward to doing this semester?

I’m looking forward to learning more about Italy as a whole and aspects that I can only learn in Rome that I wouldn’t be able to learn in my field. For example, I am taking a class on Race in the Ancient Mediterranean, which it isn’t offered at my home institution. Learning about race, immigration, and modern identity in Italy allows me to understand how the past influences the present, become immersed through hands on excursions and bring a new perspective back to the United States.

Vintage or New?

Vintage – I’m a thrift shop girl and the classics never get old.

Many students are taking multiple classes. How do you find the time to destress while maintaining focus on your goals?

Naps. On my not so busy days, I try to sleep in a bit more. I’ve been a bit hesitant to do too much traveling since I want to save my weekends for recharging and relaxing. Study abroad goes by before you know if so I’d suggest to use some of the time you have to stay local too.

Any words of wisdom?

Understand that study abroad is a balancing act. There are so many things that you may want to do but try to make a realistic plan. You don’t want to put too much on your plate that you get overwhelmed later on but not so little that you are questioning what you’re doing here. Being here is a unique opportunity that not many people have. Don’t put too much emphasis or time on traveling because you don’t want to lose focus on your classes or miss experiences in your study abroad country. Do things in moderation and you’ll have a good balance.