We are excited to welcome Nicole as our summer intern!
What’s your name?
What school do you attend?
Saint Mary’s College of California
Which program did you attend through SAI?
John Cabot University in Rome, Italy
What do you hope to accomplish in this summer internship?
Establish relations with members of the SAI team as well as gain insight to the work that goes into sending students abroad. I had such an amazingly fluid experience through SAI, that I have become passionate about international education. I would love to be able to help students have an experience like mine.
What did you love most about your SAI program?
SAI was too good to me. They were there for me when I was applying, when I arrived, and when I got home. Studying abroad can be scary, but SAI does a good job of making you feel secure without too much hand holding.
What is your best/favorite memory of your time abroad?
I will never forget my last night in Rome. I went to dinner with my five roommates at a restaurant named Miscellania. We liked the venue because the waiters were fun and they serve Fragolina–better known as “sexy wine”. We all had become very close over the course of the semester and it was a very bitter sweet evening. We went around the table talking about where we saw each other’s lives being in 10 years. We all agreed to reunion in Rome some day when we were able. After dinner we walked all around the city, saying our final goodbyes. We spent 4 hours walking around that night. It was exhausting and emotional, but it was the best way to say goodbye to each other and to Rome.
Do you have any funny traveling stories to share?
I actually had the misfortune of getting food poisoning on my flight into Rome–just my luck! I ended up having to go to the doctor the next morning because I could not keep anything down. The doctor and I eventually became good friends because I had to see him so many times. At the end of the semester I went to say goodbye to him and we ended up chatting for quite awhile. It wasn’t funny at the time, but my time in Rome was never plagued by my weak immune system and I laugh about it now because it really is just my luck.
What was your go-to meal while abroad?
Pizza! There is a little pizza place near the Guarini campus at JCU which became my go-to spot. I remember every Wednesday my roommate and I would meet there, grab pizza and a coke and sit in the nearby piazza to people watch. When we finished we would walk together to our photography class.
I also found a restaurant that served to-die-for penne alla vodka. The guy who owned the place knew I was studying Italian and would only serve me if I could correctly order everything in Italian–he was great!
What advice do you have to offer those just embarking on their study abroad experience?
Having an open mind is really important to the experience of going abroad. It is really interesting to watch yourself grow and develop in 4 short months. I recommend writing down a list of personal goals–whatever they may be. Traveling on weekends is a great experience, but don’t forget to explore the depths of your host city. I always loved getting lost in Rome. It forced me to use my Italian and figure out how to get home on my own. Trust yourself, be brave, and don’t waste a single day of your experience!