Home

 

Getting Experience

- # of # Filtered -

Simpatico in Florence

Q&A with Kristina: Studied in Italy
Share this
Print this
Kristina
Studied in Italy
SUNY: University at Albany
Her thoughts on Communicating Abroad
The most important thing about cross-cultural communication in Italy was using hand gestures. If I didn't know how to say a certain word, hand gestures were a universal way I could communicate!
Her thoughts on Personal Growth
I used to do everything in a hurry. Now I try to take things step-by-step and notice everything around me.
Her thoughts on First Impressions
Be prepared to arrive not knowing anything, feeling like an outsider – but leave feeling like you found a new home.

When and where did you study abroad?

I had the opportunity to study abroad in Florence, Italy. Two years ago my brother studied in Florence, and said the experience changed his life and was the best experience he has ever had. So I decided it was time to get away from my usual life and explore Italy.

What was the biggest surprise?

When I started getting used to the Italian lifestyle, the biggest surprise was the way Italian people carried themselves and interacted with each other. In Italian, the word "œsimpatico" means "œnice," however, my Italian language professor had told me that being nice isn't what their culture is known for. Rather, he said, they are known for their honesty and loyalty, which is was Florentines consider "œsimpatico" to mean. But I found them to be very friendly.

How did you deal with the cultural divide?

I felt that in order to deal with it, I had to learn to speak Italian and pick up their mannerisms. Getting used to the hand gestures and certain table manners took some time. Before I went to study abroad, I took a beginner Italian language course to prepare myself, which made it easier to communicate. I also took an intermediate language course while I was there. The best part was that I could walk outside my apartment and practice speaking to native Italians. The most important thing about cross-cultural communication in Italy was using hand gestures. If I didn't know how to say a certain word, hand gestures were a universal way I could communicate!

What made your study abroad trip a success?

I felt that making new friends and letting myself be at ease made my study abroad successful. At times I was homesick, but then I would realize that this is a once in a lifetime experience and I had to use it to its fullest advantage.

What was your return like?

Returning home was tough. I had gotten used to the Italian culture and was unaccustomed to the American lifestyle. However, I had a lot of stories to tell my friends and family. I was able to give them gifts and show them pictures while telling them stories about my adventure. But it took me a long time to get used to the American culture and the pace of life. Italian people are very laid back, they took their time with everything; even something as simple as walking to the grocery store. New York is a fast-moving place; everyone is always in a rush. When I came home, I realized that I never took the time out to observe my surroundings. I used to do everything in a hurry. Now I try to take things step-by-step and notice everything around me.

Do you have any top tips for students hoping to follow in your footsteps?

If you plan on studying abroad, be prepared to arrive not knowing anything, feeling like an outsider "“ but leave feeling like you found a new home. My trip was a life changer. It gave me a new outlook on life and allowed me to appreciate everything that this world has to offer. Before it was time to leave Italy, our whole study abroad program wrote quotes for the semester yearbook. I found that Mark Twain's quote summed up all my feelings in just a few sentences. "œTwenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

What are your future plans for going abroad and for your career?

In a year I will be attending law school and on my way on achieving my goal of being a judge. I have looked into several internships abroad at legal firms and I'm taking that option into consideration. However, I do plan on going back to Florence, where I studied abroad, and visiting other countries and cities that I have not yet seen.

Advice from MyWorldAbroad
Jean-Marc Hachey, Publisher

Kristina does a good job of describing Florentine culture, and how she did her best to maximize her time in the city. Though still in the process of earning her undergraduate degree, Kristina has begun to determine her future career goals. She should consider studying international law and aiming to become a judge in the international court system. This is an exciting, challenging and rewarding career for those motivated and passionate enough to pursue it. Until applying for law school, Kristina should maximize her cross-cultural experience on campus by becoming involved in internationally-oriented extra-curricular activities, and gearing her elective courses towards international subjects to maximize her exposure to international issues and/or build language skills.

Kristina's Next Steps
Advice from MyWorldAbroad
by the founder of MyWorldAbroad
Jean-Marc Hachey
Want to Have the Same Experience?
10 Core Global Competencies
Take control of your career with this ESSENTIAL model!
Virtual Internships in 2021!
Remote work is the way of the future! Start planning YOUR virtual internship now.
The Global You
What skills, knowledge and experiences can change your life? Find out with this NEW model!
Quizzes & Scorecard
Take these simple quizzes to assess your international skills, experiences & job search readiness!
9765
- # of # Filtered -
  • 93
93
9782
Making The Most Of Milano
1
9752
Giving In Guatemala
2
9737
Passionate About Panama
3
9758
Learning The Local Ways Of Addis Ababa
4
9769
Getting Sporty In Switzerland!
5
15644
Discovering the World on Campus: International Skills at Home
6
16017
A Globally-minded Visit to Qatar
7
9788
Business And Pleasure In Australia
8
15631
An International Career in the Making: Asia, Africa and Beyond
9
15387
Bliss on a Budget in Brazil
10
9753
A Season in Sweden
11
9765
Simpatico in Florence
12
9807
Fast Friendship in Korea
13
9764
Do It Yourself! A Proactive Intern in Rome
14
9787
A Spring Semester in London
15
9784
Skill-building in Bonn
16
14088
An Eye-opening Experience Teaching in South Korea
17
9741
Adapting to Work In Peru
18
11645
A Love Affair with Shanghai
19
9785
Motivated In Madagascar
20
11557
Un stage au Cambodge (Français)
21
9781
A Hospital Helper In Costa Rica
22
9770
Contributing To Change In Ghana
23
9779
One Summer, Two Internships!
24
9759
From Cold Feet To Confidence In Germany
25
9760
Getting In Sync In Nairobi
26
9746
A Cross-Cultural Co-Op In West Africa
27
10923
Insight And Education In Korea
28
9773
Independent In India
29
9767
Beyond The Call Of Duty In Africa
30
9776
Soaking Up Japanese Culture
31
9742
Take-Charge Travel: Germany And Beyond!
32
11467
Stepping Outside the Box in Sweden!
33
10204
Across Europe In A Caravan!
34
11468
Learning While Teaching in Beijing
35
10230
Getting Caffeinated In Bolivia
36
10145
Real Stories And Real People In Mexico
37
9771
Learning To Love London
38
11845
Hospitality and Hosting in the DCR
39
11996
Daring to Go Solo in Ireland
40
9762
American Freshman In London
41
12058
Architectural Adventures in Australia
42
9766
Short-Term Trips For Long-Term Gain
43
15327
An Open Mind & Open Arms in Spain
44
9803
Ten Years Teaching In Seoul
45
9791
Making Contacts Count In The UK
46
10851
Tips From Tasmania
47
15405
From Daydream to Reality: Teaching Abroad
48
15401
From Korea to Oman: Teaching English Around the World!
49
15383
Hustle and Bustle in Vietnam
50
15347
12 Months, 12 Countries!
51
15333
A Literary Education in the UK
52
14594
Growing Abroad: Hong Kong & South Korea
53
9799
Getting Settled In Seoul
54
10258
Encountering Cultures Across Europe
55
9772
Learning To Go With The Flow In France
56
10218
Adaptation And Appreciation In Japan
57
9786
Kids And Culture In Korea
58
9748
Adventure In The Alps
59
9744
Food, Fun And Festivals In Germany
60
9747
Fun And Friends In The Netherlands
61
9750
Host Hospitality In Morocco
62
9754
Building Memories In India
63
9775
A Year Of Feeling French
64
9777
Into The Wild In Alaska
65
9812
Caring And Career Skills In Belize
66
10157
Changing Course In China
67
9740
Sports, Study And Fun In France
68
9778
Study And Adventure In New Zealand
69
9755
People, Places And Passionate Volunteering In Peru
70
9738
Living For The Moment In Valencia
71
11850
The Warmest Welcome in Guatemala
72
9783
Off The Beaten Path In Africa
73
9757
Teaching And Learning In Tanzania
74
9789
Loving Life In Lyon
75
9774
Gaga For Ghana!
76
9745
An Unforgettable Adventure In Nanjing
77
9792
Rolling With The Punches In Seoul
78
10188
Now Or Never In Colombia
79
11904
Enthusiasm, Education and Experience in Greece
80
9790
Design And Dining In Korea
81
10163
English Teaching In Eastern Europe
82
9768
Going Solo In Spain!
83
14483
Finding Home, By Teaching Abroad
84
9743
Hooked On Volunteering!
85
10153
China, South Africa And Beyond!
86
9751
A Canadian Globe-Trotter Visits The US
87
10192
Out And About In Paris
88
9780
A Year In Marvelous Mexico!
89
9756
Springtime In Spain
90
9761
Communicating Creatively In Spain
91
9763
A Professional Visit To Vietnam
92
10143
A Warm Welcome In Mexico
93
9765
All Job Boards
462
All NGOs
1427
Au Pair Resources
39
Awards And Grants Resources
54
Business Directories
18
Canadian Federal, Provincial And Territorial Government Profiles
60
Canadian Government Resources
28
Children And Families Abroad
16
Consulting, Economic And Finance Job Boards
63
Country Guides
70
Cross-cultural Skills
80
Engineering Job Boards
59
Engineering Resources
81
Expatriate Networking Sites
32
Foreign Students Working in the US
9
Freelancing Abroad
27
General Job Search Books
15
Global Education And Social Action
45
Health And Medicine Job Boards
49
Health Career Resources
67
International Associations With Clubs on Campus
43
International Development Career Resources
75
International Internship Organizations
304
International Internships And Student Programs With Canadian Governments
31
International Internships With The US Government
37
International Job Hunting Resources
14
International Law Careers Resources
113
International Law Job Boards
26
International Student Exchanges [under construction until 2020/08/30]
2
International Studies In The US And Canada
11
International Trade Resources
25
International Volunteer Organizations
489
Internship Directories And Advice
37
Internships With The UN And Other IGOs
157
Language Careers
30
Learn A Language
106
Licensed Teacher Abroad Job Boards
29
Licensed Teacher Abroad Resources
31
Loans for Studying Abroad
18
Low-cost Travel
63
NGO Directories
33
NGO Job Boards
47
Re-entry
12
Regional Job Boards
102
Relocating Abroad
27
Resources For International Students Studying In Canada
17
Resources For International Students Studying In The US
46
Stories From Abroad
93
Study Abroad Resources
187
Teach English Abroad Job Boards
98
Teach English Abroad Resources
64
Tools for Travelers
73
Top International Blogs & Podcasts
84
Travel Health And Safety
39
UN and Other IGOs
269
UN And Other IGOs Job Boards
26
UN And Other IGOs Resources
73
US Government Profiles
76
US Government Resources
36
Virtual International Internship Organizations
77
Visas and Passports
26
Volunteer Directories And Advice
50
Women Living And Working Overseas
18
Working Holiday Resources
73