Study Abroad

Sydney Santucci

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What was one of your most meaningful experiences?
While abroad, I decided to volunteer at a local Florentine public school and assist with teaching the first and second grade students English. I did this through a program at FUA called the Community Outreach Program. Although I did not know much Italian, and there was a language barrier between me and the students that I taught, this was the most meaningful experience that I had. Going to the school and teaching the students was something that I would look forward to, and I could tell they looked forward to it too. I was able to connect with the students and the teachers, and do something that not most people do while abroad. I actually got to immerse myself into the culture first hand and get to know so many amazing Italian students. Not to mention, it helped me immensely with learning more of the Italian language, since most of the students knew minimal English, so not only was I able to give back to my host community, but they gave me so much in return as well.  

Why should Lasell students study abroad?
Lasell is a small school, and although that is one of its perks since you are able to have close relationships with everyone you meet, it makes you forget sometimes about how much more is out there for you. The world has so much to offer and studying abroad is the perfect opportunity to explore what else is out there for you. Seeing different cultures and allowing yourself to dive in and experience them will not only help you grow as an individual, but prosper as a global citizen as well. Studying abroad has helped me gain insight about myself, become more cultured and more knowledgeable about the world around me. Seeing the different ways of life and broadening my horizons was one of the best decisions I have made in my college career, and it is something that every Lasell student could benefit from. 

What is your number one piece of advice for students studying abroad?
Step out of your comfort zone. Do things to push yourself. I know it's scary at first and you'll feel reluctant, but honestly, it is so rewarding. Once you do this, you will learn so much more about yourself, and become more self-aware and independent. By stepping out of my comfort zone, I have made countless incredible memories around the world with people who were strangers at first, but are now some of my best friends. 

What is a typical day in the life when studying abroad?
Typically I would wake up and go to class, then I'd go to the local farmers market near my apartment and get fresh produce for the day. Then I'd go home for a bit and then go to my other classes. After classes were finished, I'd meet up with friends and either shop or do some exploring around Florence. After, we'd go back to our apartments, do some homework and then meet up again later to either make dinner or try a new local restaurant.