Why did you choose SPI?
I chose SPI because I’ve always wanted to study abroad, and especially go back to Italy. I was on Facebook and my friend had posted a picture about how excited she was to study in Spain this summer with SPI. I did some research and noted that SPI offered an Italy program. I was beyond excited, so I continued to research the program and it was practically everything I wanted!
How has this experience impacted you?
It has impacted me more then I ever realized. I feel more cultured and well-rounded, and my program gave me opportunities that I wouldn’t have ever had otherwise.
What made your SPI experience unique or special?
Definitely my roommates and homestay. I was so blessed to be paired with two of the most unique people I have ever met and would normally never be around. We came from such different backgrounds that there was never a dull moment with us. My homestay was so inviting and welcoming. The food was amazing and all the cultural differences made my experience so much more exciting.
What was your favorite activity/excursion?
My favorite activity was probably when we went to Florence for the day. We were able to go to the outdoor leather market and buy some great leather for bargain prices. The people were great and the museums were beautiful. Il Palio [a historic horse race held in Siena every year] was great, too. Being packed into a crowd with 2000+ people who live for this race definitely brings out the deep cultural roots of Siena.
What was your favorite part of the program?
That’s such a hard question to answer! I definitely really enjoyed all the people I met during my trip. I met people from all over the world — from Taiwan, Holland, Germany, Italy, and Australia. Also, the people who came on the trip with me were great. We all became so close to one another. The friendships and the interesting people you meet definitely make the trip that much greater.
Do you think it is important for students your age to study abroad?
Yes, I think it helps students my age to realize how big and diverse our world really is. It opens your eyes to ways of life that you don’t get to see everyday. It can be exciting and puzzling at the same time, but you come out with a huge appreciation for other cultures that you wouldn’t have otherwise.
Would you suggest SPI to other students?
Absolutely. It was by far one of the greatest experience I’ve ever had and I owe so much to SPI!