When considering a place to study abroad, there were a few basic questions I had to ask myself before settling on a place.
“Will I be able to A) speak the language already, or B) be able to learn?”
It was safe to say any romance language was going to the smoothest transition, having learned some Spanish in high school.
The next question I had to ask myself was coincidently the first question my parents would have for me.
“Is this place safe?”
Naturally, this is a parent’s first question, and being a semi-adult this question clearly is starting to float to the top of my thought process.
So when I started to consider Italy, there was a point when I had to think about something that had lingered in the back of the minds of American students abroad in Italy since 2007: Amanda Knox.
To those who did not follow news around this topic ardently, the American-in-Italy was convicted, acquitted, convicted, and then acquitted of the murder of her roommate while studying abroad.
There are enough twists and confusion to fill books, which surely have to be in the works, because this real life drama could make any soap opera actually compelling.
The trials during their climax, though, occurred when my age group was not yet absorbing news, nor did it actively apply to our lives, so it some ways most people my age do not know about Amanda Knox. But my family was interested because my sister had just returned from studying abroad in Europe.
The impact of the story had no deep, lasting impression on me than just going to Italy could mean I never came back without handcuffs and an orange jumpsuit.
Though now this idea is somewhat of a joke, or not even known about at all now, there it is, still present in the back of my mind.
But that incident is so specific and strange, that in the end I was not concerned about visiting Italy.
In my experience so far, I have not seen any of the slight reputation that Italy gained throughout the Knox trial, and do not foresee any problems.
I have only seen and plan to see the Italy people dream about: expansive churches, vividly green grass, and more beauty than I could possibly ever describe.
Hi! My name is Catherine Wheeler. I study English Writing at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. This semester I am studying Italian and journalism at Università degli Studi della Tuscia. In my free time, I love to read, cook, and travel.
Ciao! Mi chiamo Catherine Wheeler. Io studio di scrittura in inglese a Fort Lewis College di Durango, Colorado . Questo semestre Sto studiando italiano e giornalismo presso l’Università degli Studi della Tuscia. Nel mio tempo libero, mi piace leggere, cucinare, e viaggi.