Italy

Coming to Italy was a hard adjustment. You are given little video seminars on culture shock and how it feels, but honestly, I don’t think any of us took it seriously. We’re going to be living in Italy, how could it feel anything but great? We were all in for a surprise.

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When I first arrived in Florence, I knew that I wanted to be able to give back to the community in some way, I just wasn’t sure how. Lucky for me, my answer came quickly. My college informed us that they were offering the opportunity to volunteer at an Elementary school helping teach English.

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I am riding in the car. The anticipation of the vacation my family is about to embark on is building inside me. We arrive at the airport and the excitement dwindles for I know what comes next. Waiting.

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Trains have always intrigued me. Watching them speed by, I’d always wonder where their final destination was. They carry a sense of mystery. Who’s on them? Where are they going? What are they leaving from? Why are they traveling at all? All these questions would race through my mind, as I would watch the trains pass through.

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Visiting Assistant Professor Melissa Moreton will discuss her work examining the material culture of late medieval, Renaissance, and early modern Italy (1300-1650), combining methodologies from history, material book studies, art history, and the quantitative sciences.

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Studying abroad has been something I’ve wanted to do since I can remember. Growing up, I recall feeling a great sense of longing, even jealously, when I would see people I knew get the chance to take on the great adventure overseas. I knew one day I wanted that to be me.

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While Abby Restko was in college at the University of Iowa, she embarked on a study abroad experience in Venice, Italy. Restko, who was a majoring in marketing with a minor in art, knew then that she should have a jewelry store that offered Murano glass locally. So she opened Glassando in a small space in the Old Capitol Mall just a week after graduation in 2005.

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The University of Iowa pitches the study abroad experience as one that can enrich the student experience, broaden career aspirations, and provide skills for living and working in other cultures, making sure to stress that this is becoming increasingly valuable in today’s global workforce.

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So, you’ve decided to study abroad. What’s your first instinct? Convince your best friends to make the trip with you for a semester long adventure? I’m here to tell you that you should highly consider going abroad without your best friends.

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“Dude, you’re a senior. Why are you studying abroad?” Okay, I haven’t actually been asked this question by another human being, but I have contemplated it on numerous occasions. Now, have I answered this question to myself? Yes. Yes I have.

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