The University of Iowa

Student Reflections on Diversity Abroad: Italy

September 8th, 2018
Anibal Mares Marquez

Hello there!

My name is Anibal Mares Marquez. I am a Junior studying at the Tippie College of Business. I studied at Italy through the study abroad program CIMBA. 

For me, studying abroad was the highlight of my year so far. I learned a lot of things about many different cultures, about living abroad and most importantly about myself. I learned to not have any expectations when traveling. I personally liked to be surprised by everything while traveling abroad. There might be things that go wrong, or they could go extremely well. It is all about living the moment and enjoying the experience. The one thing that I learned about myself while traveling throughout Europe is that I like to be spontaneous when traveling. Being spontaneous means that I like to explore and get lost instead of making a step by step itinerary.

Of course, when there is no definite plan, things may not be favorable. There were many occasions that my spontaneous character got me in some difficult situations, such as missing a train and a flight. Bad deal right? Well if this happens to you, do not panic! Stay calm and look for help, there will be someone able to help you book another flight/train. If things go wrong, take them as a learning experience and laugh it off!

While traveling through Italy, I learned that their lifestyle is a slow paced, take it easy lifestyle. They like to take days off and not be rushed when working. They enjoy life and it shows by how vibrant the Italian citizens are and how beautiful their country is. The thing that surprised me the most about Italy was how close their culture is to the Mexican culture! Sometimes I felt like I was back in Mexico. Then there were times where I actually felt like I was in a different world!

Anibal Mares Marquez in front of pyramid

If you are thinking about studying abroad, well, let me be one of the many people to tell you: DO IT! There is nothing better to do while being a student at the University of Iowa than studying abroad! There are a lot of things that you will learn and there will be a lot of fun to be had!