About My Study Abroad Program
Major/Minor: Computer Science and Italian
Program: I chose to study abroad to challenge myself in a completely new setting. I selected my program because I’ve studied Italian since I was a child and it was the perfect opportunity for full language immersion.
Location: Bologna, Italy
Term: Spring 2022
Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you select your program?
I learned more about myself than I could have ever expected. Living in a foreign country proved to myself that I was independent, intuitive, and able to adapt in a setting I was initially uncomfortable in! I learned to trust myself and how to take good risks.
What did you learn about yourself?
Going to Sicily for Easter with my Sicilian roommate. We celebrated with her whole family and I got the chance to experience an authentic Italian holiday!
What is one of your favorite memories from your program?
Uncertainties and unprecedented situations will happen and it’s entirely up to you how you go about these problems. My number one piece of advice is ASK FOR HELP! Every time I was lost in Italy or didn’t know if I was getting on the correct train, I asked someone nearby and was always helped immediately. People are friendly and want to help you, but always keep your guard up when you’re alone. As a woman studying abroad without knowing anyone prior to arrival, I always looked for a mom in public to ask help from. They would hope someone would help their child, so they’ll always help you.
Could you share any experiences where your identity played a role in your time abroad?
Bologna is a smaller city in Italy, so I was constantly being asked about being an American. This was a gateway for me to make friends, but it’s also important to note to always remain safe in situations with new people!
Is there any advice you would give to other students who share your identity?
As a woman studying abroad, the best advice in can give is to not go anywhere alone at night and always share your location with friends. Inexpensive travel is easy with all-women hostels, too. In my experience, the Europeans dressed much more formally so trying to dress like them helps you to not stick out as much.
If you faced any challenges abroad, where could you turn to get the support you needed?
My program director and the great friends I made on my program. Family is also just a phone call away.