A Glimpse of Italy: Ashley’s Experience

“Studying abroad taught me that I am independent and have all the tools to take care of myself on my own. I realized I was stronger than I thought.”

Ashley Thomson

To illustrate what a study abroad semester in Italy can look like, we interviewed Ashley, a TRU student who once aspired to travel solo and has now lived to tell the story of pursuing this lifelong dream. Ashley studied abroad for four months in Milan, Italy, at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, one of TRU’s many bilateral partner universities.

Q: What inspired you to study abroad?

A: “I always dreamed of solo traveling one day, and studying abroad was a great option with some guidance to help me plan. It was also a fun way to complete my elective courses and learn new skills.”

Q: What places in Italy were you able to visit during weekends/breaks?

A: “I was able to visit Turin, Genoa, Florence, Venice, Verona, Rome, and lots of small towns. I also traveled outside of Italy, to Lugano, Switzerland by train, as it is very close to Milan.”

“A pretty Italian building in the Piemonte wine region.”

“A gondolier in Venice. I did not pay for a ride because it costs 80 euros!”

Q: What did you love the most about living in Italy?

A: “The thing I enjoyed most about Italy was the food! I also appreciate how Italians value their meals and time with friends/family.”

Q: What is a must try food for someone going to Italy?

A: “A must try food is my favorite type of pasta sauce: Amatriciana. The Spaghetti alle vongole (spaghetti and clams) was my other favorite dish. The seafood is incredible there.”

“A great thing about Milan is the Aperitivo culture. There are so many restaurants where you can pay for the “aperitivo” where you get a cocktail or drink, and a ton of appetizers all included in the price (usually between 9-14 euros). You get a delicious meal and a drink for a decent price. There are aperitivo places near the university that are popular with students, and the neighborhood Navigli is full of them (although more touristy).”

Q: What is one memory you have from studying abroad that you wish to never forget?

A: “One of the best moments was in Rome. I was traveling by myself near the end of my exchange, and I had a picnic in a park for dinner. Afterwards, I randomly came across a horse event! It was a beautiful show, and I had no idea it was going to be there, but I stayed and watched until it was over.”

(Image to the right shows an apartment building in Rome on a sunny day).

Q: Lastly, what was the most valuable lesson you learned through studying abroad?

A: “Studying abroad taught me that I am independent and have all the tools to take care of myself on my own. I realized I was stronger than I thought.”

Image above: “On top of the Duomo in Milan. This has amazing views of the city.”

Thank you Ashley!

Interested in seeing Italy for yourself? Explore bilateral options here: https://tru-horizons.symplicity.com/index.php?s=programs&au=&ck=

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