Alumni Spotlight: Vincent Benenati

Vincent is from Andover, Massachusetts and is a senior at UMass Amherst majoring in Communications with a minor in Information Technology. He spent his semester abroad in Rome, Italy at John Cabot University. In his free time, Vincent enjoys traveling, meeting new people, cooking, and playing various outdoor sports with friends.

API Italy alumni

Why did you decide to study with API?

Vincent: I studied in Rome from September of 2011 to December of 2011. Once I knew I wanted to study abroad in Rome, I learned about what programs were available for me in that location. API stuck out to me the most because of everything they included in the package. John Cabot University included a variety of Communication classes that I was able to choose from to fulfill some electives for my major and also a couple other classes that would be interesting to take for my general education credits. The package also included some great excursions to different parts of Italy that included nice hotels with free meals and transportation they provided. Another benefit from API was how well they accommodated the students to Rome by setting us up in furnished apartments with monthly transportation passes that allowed us to freely travel throughout the city whenever we had free time. The API program could not have been a better fit for me.

What made this experience unique and special?

Vincent: My study abroad experience was so special to me because I learned so much about myself by living independently in another country far away from home. I was forced to learn how to cook for myself and try to live in a culture I was unfamiliar with. My experience was so unique because it’s nothing like I could have ever experienced if I never decided to study abroad during college. By traveling to so many different countries, not only did I learn about all the different cultures, but I also learned even more about how unique my home culture is from the rest of the world. There was not one day in Italy that I truly wasn’t excited to wake up for and embrace because every day was an adventure waiting for me right outside my door.

What made this experience unique and special?

Vincent: By having the opportunity to travel abroad and meeting so many different people, I acquired strong people skills that will help me in my future professional life. Especially being exposed to various cultures, I am much more confident in traveling to places I’m not familiar with. I also gained so much independence while abroad that it also inspired me to focus my job search in cities outside of the Northeast to experience somewhere new.

On a personal level, I also learned how important reflection is, to continue to count my blessings no matter where I am in the world because you never truly know how great something may be until the moment’s past.

Friends in Italy