Alumni Spotlight: Sydney Hopkins


Sydney is from Burlington, Vermont currently majoring in Early Childhood Education and minoring in English at the University of Vermont. She enjoys cooking Italian food, exercising, and watching hilarious Youtube videos.

Why did you decide to study with API?

Sydney: I studied abroad in Florence, Italy for the spring semester of 2012; January 14th till May 6th (ish). I decided to study with API because of their program location and what they offered; I really liked how we attended an International Institution (Lorenzo di Medici), lived in apartments with other Italians, which I really enjoyed; it helped me feel very immersed in the Italian culture. We were also given the choice to partake in sponsored trips and culture events such as Appertivo, wine tasting at a vineyard, olive oil tasting, and tours of the Vatican.

With API it was required to take an Italian language class. This was a huge help! I had taken Italian at my home University prior to my time in Florence, but being in the country while learning it made it much easier to understand! The Italians really appreciate any bit of Italian you can use with conversing with them, even if its just to say “hello” or “goodbye”.

What made this experience unique and special?

Sydney: This study abroad experience was made special due to the friendly, approachable, and fun staff at the Florence office. They were very well organized when it came to moving us into our apartments, planning really fun excursions throughout Italy, and they were very helpful and responsive to any questions that we had. I know that my apartment had a hard time learning about our streets’ recycling system. One of the staff came over to our apartment and walked us through the system.

How has this experience impacted your future?

Sydney: My experience with API was so positive that I was a big advocate for the program this fall on campus. I helped with per-departure info sessions for students who left for the spring 2013 semester abroad. I have also passed along the programs name to friends at other universities. My time abroad has given me a more global approach to world events and it has opened my eyes to different ways of living, eating, and style.