What is your favorite study abroad memory and why?
Throughout my time studying abroad, my favorite memory would be traveling to the different cities with my roommates. Knowing that we were out of the country and making our way around is still unbelievable to me. All the sight-seeing we did and walking around was amazing. The food we had was just in awe. The cities we traveled to were Venice, Genoa, and Florence. It was truly an experience.
What was your favorite class abroad and why?
While I studied abroad, I lived in Milan and went to Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti (NABA). Out of my three classes, my favorite was my imaging and styling class. It was a class that made you think outside the box on how to style clothes and make something out of it. We had to get inspiration from walking around Milan. At the end, our final project was making a magazine! It was so interesting meeting people from all around the world. In the classes that I took, there were field trips that we went on. On those field trips, it was fun getting to know the other students on another level.
What advice do you have for new study abroad students?
My advice for new study abroad students is keep an open mind. At first, it can be a lot and basically overwhelm you but just stay calm. After things get settled and you feel at home, the whole thing is so much easier. After adapting to their culture, it started to become part of me. The walking everywhere, taking public transportation, language barrier, etc. It all can be overwhelming but at the end you won’t be wanting to go home.
What has your experience taught you about the world?
My experience taught me that there are so many different cultures out there than I realized. Meeting so many people from around the world was amazing. I have always been a person who loves learning about different cultures, so this trip really played into that. I learned that other countries know more about America than America knows about other countries. So, having this experience really broaden my horizons on meeting new people. Another thing that my experience taught me was that since there are so many different languages, hand motions are something that really helps to understand.
Do you have any tips for learning the language while students are abroad?
My tips for learning the language while studying abroad would be to talk very slow (in English). Sometimes foreigners know English very well and other times not at all. Hand motions are something that helps out with the language barrier. While I was abroad, I did not catch on much Italian besides the basics, but it was not something that was needed. I would not worry about that too much.
Courtney was a summer 2019 Milan student from Missouri State University.