Year and semester studied at Umbra: Fall 2005
Undergraduate institution: Northeastern University
Undergraduate major and minor: Communications (major), Business Administration (minor)
What have you been up to since attending Umbra?
After finishing my semester at Umbra, I returned to Northeastern with about 1.5 years left to finish my undergrad degree. Since graduating, I’ve been very fortunate to build a career in consulting, and later, corporate social responsibility.
How has studying abroad impacted your life both personally and professionally?
Studying abroad impacted my professional and personal life tremendously. It was during my time in Italy that really shaped my understanding of world perspectives on religion, family, friendships, and American politics. It helped me understand how important travel and experience was in order to grow as an individual. In my first job out of college, I was traveling extensively. My time in Italy made that opportunity seem like a dream come true.
What are you doing now?
Now I’m working for Intel Corporation running the Intel Foundation, which fosters educational opportunities and quality of life improvements for communities worldwide.
Are you still in touch with the friends you made in Perugia?
The friends I made in Perugia have become life-long friends. In fact, two of us are getting married this year and we’ll all see each other at the weddings!
What is one piece of advice you would give to prospective students thinking of studying abroad?
First, just go. I was on the fence about going for a variety of reasons (how would this impact my boyfriend, how would it impact my finances, etc.). The bottom line is, just go. The rest will get figured out and you’ll have plenty of time for other things later in life. Second, while you are there, take advantage of every opportunity you possibly can. Being in Perugia was such a blessing, because it really forced all the students to converse in Italian. Friends of mine who studied in Rome or Florence didn’t get that same experience, and I feel so lucky to have had it. See every museum, picturesque street, and church you can. Also, eat lots of pizza.
What is one piece of advice you would give to students studying abroad (during or after their experience)?
Write everything down and take lots of pictures. When I studied abroad, I wasn’t really using social media and documenting all my thoughts, travels, experiences very well. I wish I had kept a journal that I could look back on from time to time and remember what an amazing experience it was.