Alumni Spotlight: Cassi Zappala


Cassi is an elementary education and mathematics major at Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Why did you choose this program?

I chose to go to Wroxton College because I knew it would be a great opportunity to see the world while taking classes that count towards my degree. It was important for me to find a program that would allow me to see as many places as possible without breaking the bank. I was also amazed by all of the positive things I'd heard about Wroxton from students who have traveled there before.

What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

Wroxton College is affiliated with the college that I attend (Fairleigh Dickinson University), so it was as simple as filling out an online application and making my schedule.

I felt comfortable knowing that if I ever run into any issues, my University would be able to assist me. There was close collaboration between the study abroad office at my school and the dean at Wroxton College.

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

For anyone thinking about studying abroad, I would say never be afraid to make a "must-see" happen, even if it's inconvenient. If there is a specific site or city that you have been dreaming of, make sure you get there. Sometimes the planning becomes daunting or it seems like no one else shares your interest, but your study abroad experience is the perfect time to step out of your comfort zone.

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

At Wroxton, it's hard to picture an "average" week because there is always so much going on.

Most weeks, students attend classes Monday - Thursday and have the option to attend the scheduled trips (or travel independently) from Friday through Sunday. Most students take 5 classes during the semester abroad, and some classes have additional "tutorials" where students meet in smaller groups with their professors.

Meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) are prepared by the staff and served at assigned times. There are also two "tea times" per day where students can stop by the carriage house for coffee, tea, and treats.

The village of Wroxton is very quiet, but in free time student often call a taxi to the nearby town of Banbury, which has stores, restaurants, and nightlife.

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 going into my study abroad experience was the fear of things going wrong. I was afraid that I would book something wrong, miss a train, or get lost somewhere. Studying abroad was the perfect chance to get over this fear because plenty of things did go wrong. However, I was always able to find some type of solution and realized that working around small mishaps is just part of any worthwhile experience.

What was your favorite experience while studying abroad?

For a while, I had dreamed of running a half marathon and figured that running one somewhere abroad would be even better! I did some research and found a race in Pembrokeshire, Wales that looked amazing, so I decided to travel there! I had no idea how difficult it would be to get from Wroxton to Pembrokeshire, and I was really nervous about traveling by myself, but I had the most amazing experience and am so glad that I made it happen!