1. How have you changed as a person after studying abroad?
I am way more understanding of how difficult it is moving from a place where you’re so familiar with everything to somewhere where pretty much everything is new to you. I respect the fact that many foreigners come to America and adapt to the American culture very well. I’ve become more aware of my surroundings just because being in Rome for 4+ months made me that way. I was constantly checking around myself to make sure I had everything and that something suspicious wasn’t going on around me. I’ve always been open minded to learning about new cultures but this just made me want to travel everywhere and not just learn about the culture but to understand their way of living and why they do certain things.
2. What self-discovery surprised you?
The self-discovery that surprised me was that I love my personal space. I am not the only child so the only personal space I’ve ever had was my own room everything else was shared with my older sister. Being away for four months and having the share a room with someone who I didn’t completely know at the time made me miss being at home being able to blast my music in my room anytime I wanted to, leave the light on as long as I want. Just the small things such as those made me realize how much I missed personal space. Another thing that made me realize how much I love having personal space is how the Italians didn’t have a sense of personal space. I would be on the tram and there would be plenty of room for someone to get by but as he/she walks by they bump me but do not say sorry. I was so used to being in America where if someone accidentally bumps you they automatically say “excuse me” or “I’m sorry”. But over in Rome, incidents like that really aren’t worth apologizing because that is what they are used to. It is not considered rude to them, as it would be to majority of us in the United States.
3. If you took courses in your major; how has studying abroad impacted your understanding of your major?
I did take a Managerial Accounting course while studying abroad. It really did not have an impact on the understanding of my major because it was international things that we had already been taught by Carlow.
4. Single greatest benefit of studying abroad?
Being able to experience several new cultures alone. Well not necessarily alone but without my family. Everything is always done with my family and for me to get an opportunity to travel the world independently just shows me how much I have grown over the years in College. I am extremely thankful for being able to learn about different cultures throughout Europe at a cheaper cost because traveling wasn’t as expensive as it was in America.
5. How did your life goals change?
My life goals changed because now I want to travel everywhere. I want to hit a different country every year and have the ability to adapt to a new culture each time I step foot into a new country. I also plan on sometime moving out of America into a European country because it is a different world than being in the United States and living in Rome made me realize that.
6. What was your favorite experience?
My favorite experience was traveling throughout Greece for Spring Break. We booked a trip with Bus2Alps where they took us to many different locations in Greece within 9 days. I enjoyed every stop that we made but I loved Santorini the most. The place was beautiful and every building on the island was white. It just gave the town a sense of peace to me. It was indeed a very peaceful place to be and the people were very nice and happy to see us tourists.
7. Any advice for future participants?
My advice is to do a lot of traveling while you are abroad in Europe. It is affordable traveling and worth it. Also learn the countries language before you are abroad there. It will help you get a better/easier experience because you wont be so focused on learning their language while you’re there. One last thing is DO NOT spend all of your money while abroad partying. I understand partying in a different culture is fun but do other things such as the movies or going to a local show to keep you entertained as well.
8. Would you study abroad again? Why?
Yes I would because it was the best experience that I’ve had. I loved being independent and living in another country and managing. I also loved being able to study at a different university and seeing how they do things differently than they do at Carlow. I would probably go to a more exotic place so I could always have fresh seafood(one of my favorites). Also as I said before I love experiencing new cultures and studying abroad would give me another chance to do so.