Classy co-ed Christine V. is a junior studying mathematics and secondary education at Roger Williams University in Bristol, R.I. This semester, she has crossed the Atlantic and is studying abroad in Italy. College Lifestyles™ interviewed Christine to get her take on the adjustment to the vibrant, new experiences of studying abroad. Christine thinks studying abroad is an integral part of college life and her advice will help any of the classy women out there who are considering a semester abroad.
CL: What city are you studying in and what university are you studying at?
I’m in Florence at the Institute at Palazzo Rucellai.
CL: How did you adjust to the city and speaking the language?
It was so strange at first, but having a background in Spanish is really helping me. Classes start on Monday, and I’m taking Italian so that’ll make things a lot easier.
CL: How have you adjusted overall?
The first night was really hard because of lack of sleep. And then there was culture shock and jet lag, but after that it’s been so much fun and exciting and beautiful.
CL: Have you traveled at all so far?
Since I’ve only been here for about four days, I haven’t left the city yet. I want to get a good feel for it before I try to venture off anywhere else. But I plan on trying to travel as many places around Europe as possible during my time here!
CL: What has surprised you the most so far about studying abroad in Italy?
I would say how difficult it is when English is your first language and you’re placed in some other country with a different language that you’re not experienced in. But also how easy it’s been to get used to an entire different way of life. It’s still so unreal!
CL: What has been the hardest part of studying abroad?
The hardest part has been leaving my family and friends, but the Internet and Skype have helped so much. I can only imagine how difficult it was for people prior to technology.
CL: What piece of advice would you give to students who are considering studying abroad in Italy?
Definitely do it! Don’t second guess yourself, you will have the time of your life. And brush up on some basic Italian words and phrases prior to leaving.
CL: Since you’ve only just arrived in Italy, what are you looking forward to most during the rest of the semester?
Traveling! I’m so excited to travel; I just planned trips to Munich, Amsterdam and Venice, so that’s what I’m looking forward to most.