Class of: 2012
University: Umbra Institute
Location: Perugia, Italy
Partner: Arcadia University
Semester Abroad: Spring of 2011
Duration: 4 months
Reason for going:
I had been studying Italian for 6 years prior to studying abroad and was interested in studying somewhere I could use my language skills. Perugia was a small enough town where English was limited! Also, I had been planning on studying abroad since I was little; I’ve always loved traveling and learning about new cultures!
One of my many favorite moments was Easter Sunday in Italy. An Italian friend of mine brought me home to spend the day with his family. It was a true Italian experience and something I will never forget.
Funny cultural experience:
While abroad, students in my program participated in Tom’s One Day without Shoes. The Americans in town spent the entire day barefoot; walking hills, going to class, sitting in the piazza. The Italians did not understand what we were doing, and it was very funny to watch many of us struggle to explain in broken Italian. We all received interesting looks that day, but the experience was funny for not only us but for the Italians as well, proving to them that we were just the silly Americans they believed us to be!
How was the school different from Bryant University:
The school was very small and consisted of 80 American students which proved to be more of a big family environment. Due to the difference in culture, students and faculty had closer relationships. In relation to the work load, there was much less busy work throughout the semester and more final papers, projects and exams.
How did this experience change you:
I took this experience as a time to learn about myself and my ability to be independent. Over the 4 months I spent abroad I changed in the sense that I realized I am capable of living and trying new things on my own. I became more comfortable in taking risks and stepping outside of my comfort zone.
Would you study abroad again given the opportunity:
Absolutely. This was by far the best part of my college experience and at this point, one of the best experiences of my life. I am eager to be abroad again!