Alumni Spotlight: Chelsea Mrozek

Chelsea Mrozek is from Rollingstone, Minnesota and is a senior in the Graphic Design major and Photography minor programs at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. She took a photography course in Rome, Italy during the summer of 2012. She enjoys cooking, motocross, spending time with family and friends, and doing freelance photography.

Chelsea and friends in Italy!

Why made CEA a standout option for your study abroad program?

Chelsea: I really liked CEA from the get-go because of how friendly and helpful they were. From the moment I signed up I was getting calls and emails from them making sure that the process was going well for me and making sure that I knew they were there if I needed help. I liked the features that they had their own CEA campuses, apartments in neighborhoods that locals lived in, and that they took you on excursions while being abroad. CEA is so helpful and friendly; it made me think, why not go with them.

Describe an instance where CEA's staff went above and beyond the call of duty for you.

Chelsea: One thing that I remember is when a group of us girls were getting ready to do a day trip to Cinque Terre. We had no idea what to see, how to get there, and how to spend our times wisely while being there. The staff took time out of their day to give us information about what to do, they even drew us a map of which villages to see and in what order. They were all just very helpful and gave us very good information that we used while going on our little trip.

How has this experience impacted your future?

Chelsea: This experience has impacted my life in so many ways. Before going to Italy, I was nervous about traveling far away due to culture shock, language barriers, etc. but after going there and living there for 5 weeks it made me realize I can do anything. Now I’m excited to travel more on my own and see what adventures life will take me on. I learned a great deal more about photography and now I want bring my camera everywhere and capture everything I see, just so I don’t miss something that someday, that won’t be there. Being I’m graduating soon, my trip taught me that I shouldn’t be afraid to search for jobs outside of my comfort zone, even if that means being overseas. I would love to go back and work there if everything worked out but now I’m just excited to see where life takes me and I know that wherever I end up, I’ll be bringing a little piece of Italy with me too.

A Day in the Life with Chelsea!

Highlights: My favorite part of the schooling that I did in Rome was learning about this field from a trained professional who has been in the industry for a while. Our professor, Alessandro Zanazzo was a great person to learn from and he showed us so many great things about Rome and the sometimes hidden beauty of it. He would take us out into the city into parts that we might not have seen otherwise, such as open markets, little shops on hidden streets, ruins of Ancient Rome, etc. It was a great learning experience and I’ll never forget it.

The highlight of my overall experience was taking little trips to other parts of Italy with my friends. Before we would leave, we’d all gather together and buy our train tickets and talk about what we’d do on our little adventures. Then when the trips came we’d have such a great time exploring these new areas as well as getting to know each other more. We took trips to Venice, Cinque Terre and with CEA to Florence and Pompeii, Sorrento, and Capri. These trips were absolutely beautiful and left everlasting memories in my mind.

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Morning: My typical morning usually started off by going out and opening the windows in the living room and kitchen. Getting the beautiful breeze going through the apartment helped to start the day off right. Then I would just look out our window at the view of our neighborhood and take in the beauty of it because I knew that someday soon, I wouldn’t have that view at my window. After that I’d usually make breakfast and get ready for the day. Being we had our own groceries I’d either have juice and cereal or a granola bar. But we also had a wonderful little café below our place so my roommates and I would go down there for a cappuccino and croissant sometimes too.

Afternoon: If we had class, I would usually go home and drop my things off before going out to explore. If I was tired, I would stay in and relax while waiting for my friends to get back. But once we were all ready to explore we would head out to the bus stop. Some days we would walk around our neighborhood and go shopping or we would take the bus to other parts of the city. If we weren’t shopping for cute new clothes or shoes, we’d be looking for unique jewelry, souvenirs, or other fun items. If we weren’t shopping though, we’d just be exploring all that Rome had to offer, there was so much we didn’t even get to do it all.

Evening: Our typical evening would usually start with dinner. We’d either whip something up ourselves at home or we’d go to a new restaurant to try something new. After that we’d usually go get gelato for dessert, something very hard to pass up. Some nights we would meet up with our local friends that we met and other nights we would just go do our own thing. We’d go see some spots that were beautiful at night, for instance along the Tiber in the summer they set up outdoor shops, pubs etc. so we’d see that those had to offer. We would also go to some outdoor pubs and go dancing on the weekends as well.