My Experience Studying Abroad in Italy


Elisa Martinez

Student Elisa Martinez rode in a gondola through the canals of Venice.

Elisa Martinez, Features Reporter

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This past summer, I studied abroad for four weeks with CIEE. I took part in the language and culture program in Ferrara, Italy. Before being given this amazing opportunity, I had to go through the application process. Before starting my application, I talked to both of my parents and asked for their consent and they both supported me.

It took me almost two weeks to collect all the documents needed and to have my application ready to be submitted. The documents I needed to obtain were: a 1040 tax form, an academic transcript and a letter of recommendation. Aside from the documents, I had to do work of my own that included writing an essay and answering short answer questions.

I dedicated a lot of my time to this application. I stayed after school with my Italian teacher, Ms. Carolyn Willcox, to have my essay and short answer responses proofread.  I wanted it to be as perfect as possible; I was determined to win a scholarship to help pay for the tuition. At the end, my dedication and hard work paid off as I was granted almost a full scholarship that allowed me to take part in this program.

My time in Italy was incredible. I stayed with a host family, went to Italian lectures in the morning, ate authentic Italian food, went to a lesson of Tai Chi. I also went to Venice, Italy and rode a gondola and made some of the most amazing friends.

It was a great experience being able to be part of a different culture and be in a country I have always dreamed of going to. As expected, I initially was nervous because this was the longest time I had ever been away from my family. Luckily throughout my four weeks in Italy, my host mom made me feel like I was home.

I would definitely recommend everyone to apply to this program and study abroad. It will definitely change your life and your perspective on the world. You will never know what there is in store for you and the amazing people you’ll meet on your trip. Do not be afraid to venture off on your own expeditions; you will never be alone and there will always be someone with you.