Having the opportunity to study abroad in Milan, Italy for three weeks was such a unique and meaningful experience. I had previously traveled to Rome, Italy with another study abroad group at UTC during the past spring semester and had such an amazing time that I decided to sign up for this trip not long after! I definitely will say that having that previous experience of traveling out of the country and even to the same general area allowed me to have more confidence and security. It also gave me a good background knowledge of what to expect and how people in Italy acted and went about their day to day life. It felt a lot more familiar to me the second time around, even though it was still very different from things back home. I chose this particular study abroad program because of how much I enjoyed Italy the last time and I was curious to see what other parts of it were like!
One of the prettiest places we saw/stayed on the trip was Cinque Terre, which was about a three hour train ride away from Milan. We stayed the weekend in the very colorful and vibrant village of Vernazza. Our airbnb was less than a one minute walk to the water and all the local restaurants and stores. The water was so blue it was almost clear and the weather could not have been more perfect for our stay. The village looked like something you see out of a movie or a postcard that doesn’t seem like it really exists, much less looks even better in person. We spent the entirety of our weekend laying by the water, exploring the village, and jumping off the small ‘cliffs’. A huge plus was that our airbnb had a working ac! I caught myself so many times that weekend looking at my surroundings and slowly taking it all in. As we were preparing for this study abroad trip and looking for cool places to spend our free weekends, Cinque Terre was at the top of my list and I still can not believe that I got to go to a place that so many people dream of going to one day!
What made this study abroad trip to Milan stand out opposed to the Rome trip was how we were able to see the locals in their everyday life. Around the time we would head out for our tours in the morning we would see people grabbing breakfast on their way to work or walking their kids to the bus stop for school. This was really interesting and allowed us to see the more realistic and natural side of what life in another country looks like. There also were hardly any tourists in Milan unlike in Rome. I really enjoyed being abroad for a longer period of time since it allowed us to get settled in and get to know the city and the people around us. In a strange sense it started to feel more like ‘home’ even though we were in a different country. Even though we were in the minority of people who spoke English, we made a lot of new friends at a few of the restaurants that we would go back to multiple times which was so fun!
Studying abroad in Milan this summer was a huge success and I would definitely love to take part in another faculty-led study abroad trip with UTC in the future!
Kayla Donnell (BS Psychology) spent Summer 2022 in Milan, Italy as part of a faculty-led trip linked with a UTC course. Kayla had the following to say about study abroad, “Studying abroad this summer was the best decision. I made so many new friendships with girls from UTC, engaged in a different culture/lifestyle, and visited some of the prettiest places in the world. I would highly recommend studying abroad to anyone who is wanting to see more of the world and get out of their comfort zone!”
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