Matthew Burk: My road to Italy (La mia strada verso l’Italia)

Matthew Burk

Studying abroad and traveling the world has always been my dream; my life’s work from a child’s eye. Personally, I struggled to keep a dream a reality and know academically I’m pursuing much more than just strengthening a degree in anthrophony. I’m strengthening myself professionally through different cultures, challenges, and mistakes. I will take the best out of my education but won’t give up the worst, my degree is mine and mine alone.
So, why study abroad? “Why Teach? Why did Prometheus’s steal fire only turn around and give it away? There inherits generosity in the human spirit – one of the faces is the face of the teacher.” (Michael Crichton)
It started by being born in a generation where my family and friends were more likely to commit a life of crime then pursue knowledge and education. I was raised in Idaho where education, as I knew, wasn’t valued. I struggled with school not because I was considered slower than most students, but I didn’t speak as well as the other classmates that gave me a difficult time growing up in my city. I had a hard and challenging childhood in the end I overcame and manage to graduate to serve my country in the army. That leads me here for my education, so I can tell you, who I am as a person.
Being brought up in Boise I knew I wanted to make a difference, like most children I didn’t have insight or knew how to accomplish such a task. I love my country. That gave me the best options to enlist. The army gave me something that I never knew respect. It enforced discipline and shape my courage, integrity, and selfish service that ever shape my life. I volunteered to fight the war on terror and today I feel at times the war will never end. I joined in 14 Feb 2006. My training at Fort Knox KY, 19k Armored Crewman. I had a glimpse into reality and equality. I kept my motives, my decision to fuel my courage for my pursuit of happiness. Basic training prepared operation Iraqi Freedom, my duty station 1-64 AR/ 3rd 7th Cavalry 2nd Brigand 3 ID, Fort Stewart GA strengthen us into “Dogface soldiers”. Iraq, Bagdad, showed me one of the faces of the world. The middle east.
Over there, I found beauty in landscapes, monuments that brought a moment of peace. A matchstick in the dark that starts the deepest fire, desire. I lived behind Uday Hussein palace in Adhamiyah District located in the capital of Iraq, which became known as “Gunner Palace” in 2004.The installation names change a few times, as the compound grew over the years to hold coalition forces. I watched that documentary “Gunner Palace” in High School and Now I was living in it. Hand in Hand with the Iraqi Government, SOI leaders (Sons of Iraq), Iraqi police and military; to stabilize a region that been deprived by a Dictator Saddam Hussein. I return home honorable on 13 June 2009.
I was 23 and still felt homesick. I tried starting where I left off, the pursuit of my education. Now, I’m attending the University of Tuscia in Viterbo, Italy Spring semester 2018. This part of my academic career will add to my cultural experience, in my life. I’m intrigued to have a different kind of education experience and this program is an amazing opportunity. Again, I’m around beautiful monuments and history. I’m not here only for me but, my friends, my family and the experience that I could bring back to American. So far, I am having an amazing time. I grateful for the generosity of Viterbo.

Hi, my name is Matthew Burk. I study Anthropology at Boise State University. A little about me is that I love nature, horses and a T- bone steak. In the mean time I like to travel, meet new people and enjoy the Country side. You can follow me on face at

*Ciao, mi chiamo Matthew Burk. Studio antropologia alla Boise State University. Amo la natura, i cavalli e anche la bistecca alla fiorentina. Mi piace viaggiare, incontrare nuove persone e godere la campagna. Puoi seguirmi su