Alumni Spotlight: Blair Budzinski


Blair is a Senior Human Resource Management major at St. John Fisher Fisher College. She studied abroad in Rome, Italy for the spring 2017 semester.

Why did you choose this program?

I picked AIFS Study Abroad because it is an all inclusive package. This means that the meal plan, housing, flights, and more are all included in the price of going abroad.

I also picked this program because their website and program book were the most appealing and easiest to understand.

What did your university assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

My school helped me narrow down what location I wanted to go to and also helped me pick classes that would help me finish my school requirements. I had was responsible for filling out my applications and getting in touch with AIFS, which was a very simple process.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program

I'd tell everyone to go! Do not let anyone or anything hold you back. I was scared to go abroad at first, even after I sent in my application, but looking back at it there is nothing to be nervous about!

The other piece of advice I have is to not overpack. You are the one who has to carry your suitcases throughout a different country, and with AIFS we do a lot of traveling before we even got to Rome, and carrying two suitcases and two carry-ons got to be a huge pain!

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

My week was perfect! I had classes Tuesday through Thursday so I had a ton of time to travel. The weekends consisted of traveling and sightseeing.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

My biggest fear was leaving my family and thinking I would be homesick. I got over this by just going and not letting anything hold me back. The best way to not get homesick is to just keep yourself busy, and AIFS keeps you busy. Travel as much as possible, meet as many people as possible, and don't just sit around and watch Netflix, you can do that at home. Get out and immerse yourself in the brand new amazing culture you are now a part of!

What is your favorite memory from your time abroad?

My best piece of advice is to not only go to the tourist places but go where the locals go. The best memory I have is when I was in Sicily and my friends and I found this street that was full of all locals and their establishments.

We were able to throw ourselves into the Sicilian culture and see how they spent their time. It was truly amazing and I wish I could go back and relive that moment over and over again.

Also, if anyone decides to go to Rome, you have to go to the Trevi Fountain at night - hands down the best thing to do!