Reason You Chose this Program: I knew I wanted to go to Italy because Italian is my major, and Rome is full of ancient history, perfect to compliment my other major, history.
Favorite classes: My internship class, which met once a week in addition to the hours I spent at my internship placement. We learned about differences in Italian and American culture, social aspects of Italian culture and social issues in current Italy.
Describe the housing situation: I lived in an apartment with three other girls; two girls from my program and one Italian student (called an ISC—Italian student companion).
Best memory: My program took the students to Venice for a weekend in late April, and my friend Ashley and I spent the whole weekend exploring the city and looking for Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie, who were there filming a movie. We finally gave up…and later found out our other friend had accidently found the movie set late one night!
Biggest surprise: I really, really didn’t need all the clothes and appliances I brought. Most of everything I needed I could find in Italy, and even if it was a little different, it was more fun to use the Italian brands.
What I wish I knew before I left: How important it is to travel on the weekends. The transportation is efficient and affordable. You can take the train to anywhere. I went to Paris, Pompeii, the Amalfi cost, Venice, Rome, Naples. Weekend traveling was like 4-day history classes. The excursions were cool, too, because you go to towns that people haven't heard of; you see the side of rural Italy. And the best meals I had were on the excursions.
Complete this sentence: If I could do it over, I would... take more Italian classes. You'll never have another chance to be so completely immersed in another culture.
What you know now that you didn’t know before studying abroad: You can see how dynamic history is, how civilizations of the past defintely have influenced the present.
Experiences with culture shock or reverse culture shock: It's not considered a big deal if people are a little late in Italy, it's part of the culture. My first meeting with my professor that oversaw my internship was a stressful experience because she was 15 minutes late, and I was so worried that I had missed her or that I was at the wrong place.
Fact about your host country that you think people would be surprised to learn: Vodka sauce, alfredo sauce and chicken parmesan are not Italian, you can only find them here in America.