Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The "Study" in Study Abroad

My home university, Goucher College, is the only college in America where studying abroad is required. This played a huge part in me picking Goucher. So, the going to school aspect of studying abroad was really important to me. Yet, only one of the classes I am taking counts for my minor, and I don't really feel like I'm in school still...which can be good and bad. Still, I am really enjoying this experience. I am used to studying at a very small and condensed campus. But in Torino, I travel 30 minutes to school once or twice a day. I feel like I am learning just as much from being in a big historic city as I am in my classes.

I go to school at the business school of the University of Torino. Most students in my program are either business or marketing majors, but there are also quite a few design students. I am a history major and art history minor, yet I still found classes that are related to what I am studying back home.

Everyone in my program is required to take at least a six week intensive Italian course. I am also taking intermediate 2 because I want to complete my school's language requirement while abroad. Learning Italian was really important to me, but so far it has been a slow process. I took two semesters at Goucher and I have learned a lot more since being here, but taking what I am learning in the classroom and using it in conversation with Italians is a lot harder than I expected. 

Next, I am taking Italian culture, which is sort of just for fun. The same professor who teaches that class is also my professor for International Affairs. I am also taking History of Modern Design, which is the class that counts for my minor. 

My favorite class is cuisine. We go to an Italian woman's house, where we spend the first two hours cooking and learning about the history and culture of Italian cooking. Then, we get to enjoy our efforts with a multiple course meal. 

All study abroad programs are different. Some are less focused on studying and are more about having a crazy fun time abroad. I think my program  has a good balance of academics and fun. It is also what you make it. I feel like there is plenty of time to study, explore the city, go out, and travel to different places. 

Homemade Jam Tart 

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