To start off, can you tell me a little about you?
I am a junior and psychology major. I am in Chi Omega and do research with Dr. Osterman. I volunteer with Best Buddies and the Salem Food Pantry.
Where did you study abroad? Why did you choose to study there and what was it like? Was it different from what you were expecting?
I went to Perugia, Italy. I chose this place to study Amanda Knox but it didn’t end up happening. It was a smaller city, so I was very immersed in the culture. The people were super friendly. The Umbra Institute gave a much heavier work load [than I was expecting], but it kept me prepared for returning to Roanoke.
What were some of your favorite moments while abroad?
Being able to travel all around Italy and see every part. When you travel to different parts of Italy it is almost like you entered a different country. I also loved visiting Amsterdam.
What were you most worried about in terms of studying abroad?
Being able to go all the places I wanted while still handling the work load.
Did anything happen that you weren’t expecting? Were there any moments that particularly struck you while abroad? Tell me about them.
The public transport could be a little iffy, so sometimes a bus or train would be missed. The difference in culture struck me because Italians are much more laid back and collectivist than America.
What did you learn while abroad? This is not limited to just coursework (though certainly talk about the types of courses you were able to take) but also about the culture or cultures you interacted with and, cheesy as it is, yourself as well.
I learned a lot about organizational behavior psychology, which I never thought I would. I learned I like laid back culture, but it is annoying when I am in a rush and no one else is.
The courses I took were: Criminal Behavior, Human Development in Culture, Organizational Behavior, Italian Immigration, and Italian.
What do you miss the most?
The food and the welcoming people I saw all the time. Just the atmosphere in general.
Tell me about your plans for the future. How will you apply what you learned while abroad to help you?
I think I can use the way that I adapt to any culture extremely well as a tool for applying to different jobs and higher education. I may even continue my higher education in another country.
Do you have any advice for other students interested in studying abroad?
You should do it and not make excuses for it.