Chelsea studied abroad in Rome, Italy.
Where do you go to school?
I am a senior at the University of Wisconsin – Stout
When and where did you study abroad?
I studied abroad in the Summer of 2012 in Rome, Italy with CEA Global Campus.
What was the BEST part about studying abroad?
The best part was getting to study and become great friends with students from all of the United States while being in one of the best cities in the world, Rome. I loved learning about what Italy has to offer and being able to travel around the country to fulfill that. I also loved being able to try all the wonderful food, wine, and gelato that I’ve always heard about, needless to say, it blew me away at how amazing it all was. Basically, the entire trip as a whole was my favorite part. :)
What did you learn about the rest of the world from studying abroad? What did you learn about yourself from the experience?
I learned that the United States is such a small part of the world and that there is so much out there to learn and explore. Studying abroad just opened my eyes to all the possibilities that are out there for not only me, but everyone from any culture. I also learned more about all the different kinds of lifestyles and cultures there are out there and that I want to learn about them and embrace them to their fullest. This world is beautiful, why not learn as much possible!
When it comes to myself, I learned so much. I learned that if I can navigate my way through Rome and other parts of Italy, I can pretty much navigate my way through anything life may throw at me. I became more brave from those experiences as well. I also learned that traveling and learning more about other cultures and countries is a beautiful thing and I should do it more often. This trip taught me to keep traveling and meeting new people because it will enrich your life more than you could imagine.
What was your BIGGEST challenge while studying abroad and how did you manage to handle it?
One of my biggest challenges was trying to communicate with the locals in shops, restaurants, and even the streets. I didn’t speak much Italian and most of them didn’t speak much English so it was sometimes a struggle to get our points across to one another. Let’s just say that a lot of pointing, smiling, and head-nodding sometimes became a way of speaking in itself. It never frustrated me too much, just gave me a “fun” challenge to over come. Eventually I learned enough to get my way around that the pointing became minimal. :)
How did studying abroad change your life?
This was THE best experience of my life so far. I just learned how truly beautiful Rome and Italy was and is today. I just want to experience more of Europe to keep unveiling more beauty hidden to us in America. This trip helped me to open my eyes and set my goals high and to not give up on them, because that’s what life is about, setting goals and achieving them to gain greater happiness. I learned more from this trip that I can put into words, it gave me opportunities to meet great people and make wonderful memories, it’s hard to describe just how thankful and happy it has made me. It helped me for a future career because it made me more confident and not to be afraid of intimidating situations. My trip helped me in so many ways, I am so thankful.
What are your future plans?
I am a senior in the Graphic Design program with a minor in Photography at the University of Wisconsin – Stout. So right now I am focusing on my school work and building a portfolio for my future career in the design field. I hope to work either in an established design firm or for a magazine or print company. So, only time will tell where I will end up.
What’s your BEST piece of advice for someone who is thinking about studying abroad?
My best piece of advice for someone who is thinking about studying abroad would be to go for it and just enjoy every second of it. Keep a journal while abroad because you will look back on it and remember so many more things that otherwise you might not. I would also say to not be afraid of anything and explore and learn as much as you can about your host city and country. You may only be there once, so live it to the fullest while you can. Oh, and take plenty of pictures/videos. They will mean so much to you when you arrive back home. Studying abroad will change for life and you will be so happy you went.