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Michael Coppola

Rome


What was the scariest part about thinking about study abroad? What were you worried about before you left?
I was really just excited more than anything, but I’d say what worried me the most was the fear that I wouldn’t be able to communicate effectively with the Italian people and would have great trouble trying to order food and shop. I didn’t even know how to say “hi” in Italian until I realized that would probably be useful and asked a friend at the airport. However, nearly every person I spoke with understood enough English for me to get by and any difficult experiences just made for funny memories.
 
What was the best part about studying abroad?
The best part about studying abroad was absolutely the friendships that were made. Being stuck in a foreign country with other people your age forces you to get close to one another and forge great friendships that will last the rest of your college experience. I love the people I met and I’ll always be grateful for that.

What would you say to someone who wasn’t sure about studying abroad?
This is most likely a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you may never have again, at least not with other students that you’re sure to become friends with. Don’t miss out on it because of any fears or worries. A few of the students I met studying abroad in Rome had to make sacrifices to come along, but not one regretted their decision. The memories you’ll make will last a lifetime and they’ll be worth it alone. Also, don’t wait until the last minute to register like I did, or you’ll be rushing to get your documents in!
 
If at all, how do you think studying abroad changed you?
Studying abroad was another step toward independence in my college experience. I proved to myself that I can take risks, discover new things, and explore new places without the support system of my family an hour-and-a-half drive away.

What was your favorite meal?
First, I’d just like to say that the food in Italy definitely tastes better overall than in the U.S.! My favorite meal would have to be this homemade pasta dish with meat sauce many of us had in Tuscany. It was the thickest pasta I’ve literally ever had and just so good.