About My Study Abroad Program
Major/Minor: Economics B.S. and Journalism minor
Program: Bocconi University
Location: Milan, Italy
Term: Spring 2022
Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you select your program?
I had never been outside of the U.S. before and knew going into my first year that I wanted to study abroad during my time at Carolina. Initially, I was going to do the Honors program in Cape Town but it was cancelled, and while I was looking into other programs, an older girl in my sorority told me about Bocconi. The main reason I applied for it was because I could get credit towards my major (one thing I was worried about if I did the Cape Town program was that I couldn't take economics classes so didn't know if I would be able to graduate on time).
What did you learn about yourself?
I gained a lot of self confidence and self assurance in who I am. I used to stress over the little things, but realized there are a lot more important things in life and everything works out in the end. On a similar note, I also learned to have a much better work life balance. I was so happy on a day to day abroad, because my routine included a lot more social aspects and I prioritized my mental health!
What is one of your favorite memories from your program?
Oh gosh, it is SO hard to pick just one! I joined Erasmus at Bocconi and one of the trips was a ski trip which was incredible and is a core memory for me now. I met so many people and the people in the group I skied with were from Germany, Australia, France, U.S., which was so cool! On a similar note, one of my favorite memories was when I was sitting in the kitchen at Collegio Di Milano (residence where I lived) and started talking to an Italian Bocconi student in there, who said him and his friends were going to Paris in a week and I said I'd always wanted to go there and he invited me along! So I bought a plane ticket and booked a hostel and it was an amazing trip 😀 I could go on and on ab favorite memories, but one specifically from Milan was Milan Fashion Week! Me and my friend I had just met got dressed up and went to the Armani, Dolce Gabbana and Gucci show (as in stood outside) and she celebrities like Anne Hathaway and Anna Wintour which was so cool.
What advice do you have for future study abroad students?
First off, don't compare your experience to other people's study abroad experience! I arrived in Milan a few weeks after many people started their study abroad in different cities, and I was jealous seeing on social media how groups of UNC students were getting so close. The UNC people in Milan didn't hang out as a big group in the beginning so I was jealous of other people who were, but that quickly faded away and I had an amazing time and made so many friends (including getting close with a few UNC people). So my advice is to not stress or have an expectation of what your experience should be like. Everything will work out! Which honestly I learned is true about life too!