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Italy

Sarah Vitale's Experience

Name: Sarah Vitale
Major: Psychology
Program: John Cabot University
Traveled Abroad Before: No

Q: What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of your study abroad experience?
A: Traveling. Every weekend we went to a new place in Italy, or Europe. I highly recommend you don't just stay in your study aboard city and venture out, because who knows when you will be aboard again.

Q: Why did you choose this destination?
A: I am Italian and took 4 semesters of Italian at GVSU. I got to put the language and culture I learned to this test while I was there, which was a cool experience.

Q: What are some things that surprised you about the campus, the classes, the culture, customs or traditions?
A: No big surprises with the campus, expect that the walk there was so different then the walk around campus at GVSU. One thing not totally expected was how bad customer service was, so different then in America. You also had to pay for water, which was weird. A lot of stores are closed 1-4 for siesta, which is because it gets so hott in the summer that people nap waiting for the mid-afternoon breeze.

Q: What are some things you would like students to know about studying abroad in this destination or the program provider you studied with?
A: Don't take your studies so seriously. You only have to get credit/no credit, so as important as it is to pass, don't let that get in the way of traveling, going out, see monuments with friends, etc. The excuse we used all the time was "When in Rome".

Q: What advice would you offer?
A: TRAVEL AS MUCH AS YOU CAN. Make as many friends as you can from the university! Then you can travel to those states during the school year!

Q: What was your academic goal while studying abroad?
A: To get a C or better. I get all A's while at GVSU, so the pressure is high. But it was good to know that I could get a B or C and my GPA would still be okay.

Question? Email Sarah!

Lisa Wilson's Experience

Name: Lisa Wilson
Major: Nursing
Program: American University of Rome
Traveled Abroad Before: Yes

Q: What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of your study abroad experience?
A: Learning about Italian culture and the language was incredible! The entire experience felt like I was really immersed in the community. The historical sites that I saw everyday during class and in my free time were amazing! Also, during the weekends we went on excursions to different cities, and I learned so much about the different type of history that exists in each of those cities.

Q: Why did you choose this destination?
A: I've always had an interest in going to Italy because it seemed like a beautiful country and after going there, it exceeded my expectations. The country is full of amazing scenery, great people, and delicious food!

Q: What are some things that surprised you about the campus, the classes, the culture, customs or traditions?
A: I was surprised about how relaxed the Italians are. They take their time doing a lot of things, especially eating. It is considered rude to go to a restaurant and leave without staying for at least and hour an a half. Also, the public transportation is very unreliable, especially the buses. If I needed to get somewhere, I would have to leave and hour early even though it is only 20 minutes away by car.

Q: What are some things you would like students to know about studying abroad in this destination or the program provider you studied with?
A: Take all the opportunities that are presented to you! I was able to take 2 cooking classes in the heart of Rome and it was an amazing experience! It's important to not be afraid of things that you don't know. After trying out different foods and living in an unfamiliar environment, I became more comfortable with each day that went by.

Q: What advice would you offer?
A: Similar to the previous question, if there is an opportunity that is presented to you because most likely, that will be the only time it will be there for you. Plus, it's great to be able to say "I know how to make gnocchi from scratch, after taking a cooking class in Rome!"

Q: What was your academic goal while studying abroad?
A: My academic goal was to complete two gen-eds as well as my issues. Also, my goal was to learn about Italian culture as well as Italian language.

Question? Email Lisa!

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