Student Stories

Looking to study abroad in Urbino? Many of your peers have embarked on this experience, enabling them to learn more about different cultures, as well as to learn more about themselves. Read some of their stories. 

Becca Malzhan

James Madison University Class of 2016
Digital Video and Cinema
Urbino – Summer, 2015
 
What made your time in Urbino a valuable experience?
I think entering another culture in itself is a valuable learning experience. On top of that, the Urbino program allowed us to create real media pieces – a promotional video, magazine, and digital stories.
 
How did immersing yourself in another culture like the one in Urbino change your outlook?
It’s opened my mind to how other cultures outside of my own operate and the similar/different perspectives we share.
 
What is something you will always remember from being abroad?
All of the trips we took inside and outside of Urbino while exploring new cities with friends.

“Explore as much as you can because time goes by quickly while abroad!”

Where were you able to travel outside of Urbino?
I was able to travel to Rome, Venice, Pisa, and Florence.

Where would you travel next if given the opportunity?
While abroad, we stayed in Italy, but I would want to travel throughout Europe if given the opportunity.

At the top of the Duomo in Florence, Italy.
Becca after climbing the Duomo in Florence, Italy.

The Urbino program offers students day trips to local vineyards.
The Urbino program offers students day trips to local vineyards.
While in Urbino, Michele created a journalistic photo story on the Urbino Press Award.
While in Urbino, Michele created a journalistic photo story on the Urbino Press Award.



Michele traveled to Rome, Italy to see the historic Colosseum.
Michele traveled to Rome, Italy to see the historic Colosseum.
Michele Goad

James Madison University Class of 2016
Converged Media/Interactive Design
Urbino – Summer, 2015
 
What was your favorite part about being abroad?
Traveling. Every weekend, we figured out the trains and booked hotels all by ourselves. Our group had great weekend adventures and these were, by far, my favorite part of studying abroad.

“Focus on making it a memorable experience and taking every single opportunity you are handed." 

While abroad, what are some things you were able to do besides travel?
I was able to meet new people from JMU and other schools across the country, as well as outside the country. I experienced life in a completely different culture, I learned (well, attempted to learn) a new language and I completed a multimedia project with a language barrier.
 
You mention the language barrier, was this a struggle while abroad?
Yes, before going abroad, I didn’t realize how difficult a language barrier is. You don’t really understand how hard it is until you are actually trying to communicate with someone that speaks an entirely different language, but it makes you become very creative in getting your point across.
 

Caroline Davis

Senior
Converged Media/Interactive Design
Urbino – Summer, 2015

How has studying abroad been a valuable experience for you?
Studying abroad helped me step out of my comfort zone in many situations, through educational experiences/lessons as well as through cultural experiences and having to communicate and travel in a foreign country.
 
Has your outlook changed from this experience of traveling in a foreign country?
Yes, since traveling abroad, I have definitely developed more of an interest in learning about new cultures and lifestyles.

"Put your phone/camera away every once in a while and just take it all in!"

You studied abroad almost two years ago, but is there anything you will always remember from being there?
I will always remember traveling, the conversations with the natives, the beautiful landscape, and just being able to call Italy my home for a month.
 
If you were to go abroad again, where would you travel next?
Germany, France, and Spain!
 
Is there anything you wish you knew before going abroad?
I wish I knew that there was no doubt I would make good friends while I was abroad. I wish I planned on staying longer after the program was over.

Caroline holding up the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Pisa, Italy.
Caroline holding up the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Pisa, Italy.



While abroad, Caroline visited the canals of Venice, Italy.
While abroad, Caroline visited the canals of Venice, Italy.

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