Why did you choose this program?
I chose this program with the intention of learning Italian and building a repertory of arts and design before starting college in fashion design. I chose Siracusa because i was fascinated with the beauty of the city and it’s history, the town passed through many cultures and you can see evidences if the ages the town has lived through the many historical buildings which we also saw in architecture class. Honestly I’ve been traveling overseas since I was a baby but there is something about Siracusa that makes it my favorite place on earth. My advice is go and be open to make friends and live the amazing small town experience.
What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?
My program assisted me in so many ways, I learned the language from zero, it was through the program that I got my housing and tips from markets nearby to hospitals in case of emergency. The team was super supportive and welcomed me very warmly.
I had to organize my studies, I was able to evolve greatly on the language and other subjects because I decided to prioritize speaking and listening, I made tons of friends who would only speak with me in Italian and that helped me greatly even if most of the times in the beginning I had to answer in English.
What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?
Don’t be afraid to makes mistakes, you are there to learn and the mistakes you make will help you better understand the grammar.
One other thing is talk to people, even if you are afraid you need to try. The people I met in Siracusa were amazing with me and treated me super well and I confess I made the greatest friends in the world there.
What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?
The program was actually very chill the classes usually didn’t have a very specific time, it depended on the week but mostly we would start at 9:00 or 9:30 and finish at 17:30. After classes I liked to stay in Ortigia where I would go out with friends and just stroll around town or even go dancing in the marina near when summer came.
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 was to have trouble making friends, since I arrived for the spring program in January the classes were already formed and in a level that was way to high for me to join so I had a separate class that was in a whole different period. That made it pretty hard to make friends when i first arrived at the program and honestly made me feel very lonely so I took any opportunity to go out. One night everyone went to a party and there I made a lot if friends from another college and they stuck with me until the end. After the end of February the classes were merged for the foundation year so I made friends with the amazing classmates from my program as well.