If I could move to Reggio Emilia, I would at the drop of a hat, truly. I only spent the Summer there with USAC, but it was such a wonderful time of growth and adventure for me. Reggio is a smaller city, which made it feel homey and welcoming. After a long weekend out in close cities (2 hour train ride tops), such as Florence, Venice, Rimini, Ravenna, etc, it was so refreshing to be able to come home to Reggio Emilia and slow down. Also, train tickets are so cheap and the system is easy to navigate, so it was no problem taking day trips. I am a person who really needs time to decompress, so this was perfect for me.
I took an Elementary Italian course, which is definitely harder and more fast paced than I anticipated, but it was worth it. Being able to communicate good enough in Italian made a world’s difference for me when figuring out my routine here! Also, I learned in the Education for a Changing World class that Reggio Emilia was the first red city after the Fascists had power over Italy. Therefore, it is an incredibly progressive, well rounded, and welcoming area. I did not hear of any racism, homophobia, xenophobia, etc here, and it was truly a wonderful community. I was even approached by a group of Italian students my age in the park and we talked for hours and became closely acquainted.
As for USAC, I really enjoyed using their program. As it is expensive, they were extremely helpful and kind. Simona and Carlotta are wonderful people to talk to and I knew they would be there if I needed anything at all. Also, the professors UNIV of Modena provided were all phenomenal, and I felt as if I knew them so intimately and personally after taking their classes.
When it comes to food, I don’t even know where to start. This region of Italy is so famous for its cuisine that everything was phenomenal. Meals and groceries are so inexpensive which was amazing because I blew most of my money on travel! Also, if you are vegan, luckily, there are multiple vegan and vegan friendly restaurants here! Herbe (super close to campus, right downtown in the city centre) was my favorite, and they served authentic Italian cuisine, but vegan, so I did not miss out on experiencing the amazing food Italy has to offer.
I made wonderful friends from all of America, Germany, and Italy on this trip, and I am so thankful that I did this. My biggest fear and concern going into this was money and hating that I would be burning through my savings account. However, money will always be tight, but I won’t always be a twenty year old without a 9-5 career, so I am extremely proud at the independence and adventure that I gained from this Summer. It was such a sweet and magical time, and I cannot put into words to convey how happy I am with this time spent in Reggio Emilia.
Kellen Rogers (BS Elementary Education) spent Summer 2022 studying abroad in Reggio Emilia, Italy through USAC. Kellen had the following to say about studying abroad, “Seriously, just do it, there is nothing to be afraid of and money will always be tight, but you won’t always be 20 without a 9-5.”
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