Alumni Spotlight: Heather Bonello

My name is Heather Bonello. I am currently a junior at Dickinson College where I study American Studies and Spanish. I am from Little Silver, New Jersey. I love to travel and am always looking for a new adventure to spice up my life. My passion is meeting new people and I love exploring new places. I am twenty years old and I have been to 16 European countries. I am one of four children and I am a very family-oriented girl. I love to be around friends and family and my favorite place in the world in the beach.

Why did you decide to intern abroad with Global Experiences in Florence?

One of many home cooked meals in the apartment with some GE interns

Heather: I have traveled to Europe every summer with my family since I was ten, as a nineteen year old I knew I wanted to travel back to Europe but have a more independent experience. I knew Global Experiences was the right program for me because they were super friendly and accommodating during the first inquiry phone call. The previous summer I stayed with a host family while studying in Malaga, Spain and I had many questions about the GE programs that Kevin Pickett answered with enthusiasm. I chose Florence because I liked the idea of living in an apartment in the heart of such a rich historical city and I knew GE would be a supportive program that would provide the best job and accommodations for me overseas. Well there activities such as the scavenger hunt and Project Moda reassured me I had made the right decision by choosing GE.

What made this experience unique and special?

Heather: My experience was made by the friendships I formed. First I was greeted and prepared by GE staff and told exactly what to expect. On sight Anna and Whitney made sure that each intern was happy in their job and doing well adjusting to living abroad. I loved attending lingua viva school and still talk to the international friends I made in my classes. My teacher at lingua viva was incredibly supportive and made class fun, I actually cried when class ended. Next I met my coworkers and found them just as equally exciting. I am still in touch with them today and they helped me learn about the Italian work system and gain appreciate for the American work system as well. Aside from my bosses, teachers, and mentors my fellow interns were amazing. I treasure the friendships we made abroad and still talk to them weekly. I loved living with other GE interns and cannot express how thankful I am to have met all the people I did this past summer.

Heather and fellow GE intern Fabiola frolicking through a sunflower field!

How has this experience impacted your future?

Heather: Thanks to this experience I now have more confidence in myself and feel like I can adapt to almost any situation. If I can go over to a foreign country not knowing one person and come back with countless friends and incredible memories I will not doubt myself in future situations. Having been able to work with people of a different culture and live on my own within another culture was an incredibly rewarding experience.

Lingu viva Italian class of all GE interns and teacher Stefano!!

What was the highlight of your experience?

Heather: The highlight of my experience was the spontaneity of my fellow GE interns and myself. We would go to class or work in the mornings and go to the train station afterward and chose a new destination to visit. I loved traveling and creating memories with people across the globe. I will never forget the trips and laughs I’ve shared with my GE group. I cannot express how much I loved this summer and wish I could relive it again and again. While in Italy, I felt as though as I was always happy and always had something to look forward to, the trip was dreamlike.

What is one piece of advice you would offer someone considering interning abroad in Florence?

Heather: If I could give a piece of advice to someone considering interning in Florence I would tell them to be fearless. For once follow your intuition and forget the structures and worries of everyday life and go out on a limb. By taking this chance and venturing to a different country you open so many doors for yourself. I encourage everyone to take this incredible opportunity, I promise you, and you will not regret it.