This week marks my sixth week of my study abroad journey through the University Studies Abroad Consortium, known to most as the USAC program. USAC is a study abroad program that offers college students the opportunity to study in a different country for the summer, fall, spring, or year long. This year’s summer program in Viterbo consists of 26 students from different parts of the United States that were all eager to have this amazing opportunity to explore a different side of the world. Even though, we may be from the same country or universities, we all have a different reason as to why we decided to spend 5 or 10 weeks of our summer studying abroad in Viterbo. Therefore, I decided to interview seven of my friends as to why they chose to study abroad in Viterbo and how their individual experiences have been going thus far.
“I am studying in Viterbo with the hopes of learning more about the Italian culture in a non-touristy city and most of all I am excited to eat a lot of authentic Italian food,” said Laurhyn Griebel.
“I chose to study in Viterbo to learn more about the Italian culture because it offers a more intimate opportunity to embrace the culture without being distracted by tourist attractions. So far the aspects of the culture that fascinate me the most are the language and the food,” said Travis Houston.
“I picked to study abroad in Viterbo because it is a small town that would allow me to be more exposed to learn more about the language and culture. During my stay, I expect to learn as much Italian as I can and learn about the Italian culture. Also, I hear that the food is great in Italy,” said Marco Real.
“Studying in Viterbo has exceeded my expectations. I feel pushed out of my comfort zone every single day, but in a good way. I feel lucky to study in a place where I am able to learn so much about the culture and feel like I am becoming a part of the community,” said Perry Schaffner.
“The weeks that I have spent abroad have been incredibly rewarding and eye opening. I have gotten to immerse myself in a culture different from my own and I have also learned a lot about myself. I would do it again in a heartbeat,” said Alex LeMoine.
“It has all been very surreal. Viterbo is full of wonderful surprises behind every corner. I am really happy that I decided to spend my summer immersed in the beauty of Italy,” said Tru Williams-Pieron.
“This was my first time studying abroad in Italy so I did not know what to expect, but I have made a ton of new American and Italian friends, which have exceeded all my previous expectations. During my stay in Viterbo I have been able to immerse myself into the culture by attending the Caffeina Festival and taking a language course,” said Casey Iwamoto.
As you can see, we all decided to come to Viterbo for many different reasons either to explore the culture, to eat authentic Italian food, to learn a new language, or to get out of our comfort zones, but none of us imagined making Viterbo our home away from home.
Selyna Bermudez: sono una studentessa dell’Università del Nevada, Las Vegas. Il mio indirizzo è il giornalismo con studi sui media e sui servizi umani. Questa estate sto studiando in Italia a Viterbo con USAC. Ho scelto una piccola città, per vivere la tranquillità e le bellezze che offre. Essere una parte di essa mi permetterà di esplorare la mia scrittura e dare voce a ciò che vedo. Sono felice di iniziare questo viaggio straordinario di scrittura!