Universita Carlo Cattaneo (LIUC), Castellanza, Italy
Reasons for Going:
During my freshmen orientation, I remembered hearing about the opportunities that UNCG offered in the area of study abroad and I told myself that I would definitely want to be a participant. After junior year came around I felt my chances of going slowly slipping away, but after contacting UNCG’s International Programs Center (IPC), I found that I still had a chance to incorporate this important experience into my life. After going on a semester of study abroad, I feel as though I have become a more independent worker and that I have grown so much as a person. Every day I spent in Italy, I learned so much about so many different cultures and customs. I was able to be immersed in the food, the language, and most importantly, the people.
The university is located in Castellanza, Italy, which is situated roughly 25 kilometers from the fashion capital of Milan. My university’s dorms were located on campus. They were designed by a famous Italian architect who turned a factory into a working university. The dorms at LIUC offer internet, towel services, your own bathrooms, room cleanings and of course an opportunity to really interact with the local Italian students.
While in Italy, I was able to take a majority of the business courses I needed for the semester along with classes that helped me learn the Italian language. LIUC allows the students to learn in both Italian and English, so no prior language courses are necessary. One of the main differences I found with the coursework was that we had fewer homework assignments and most of our grades were derived from group work and final examinations. Another unique characteristic of this university is that you will be attending classes with a combination of international students and Italian students learning in English.
While I studied abroad, I wanted to make sure I took advantage of my first time in Europe by visiting a few of the places I have always dreamed of seeing with my own eyes. One of my first trips was to Munich for Oktoberfest. About twenty of the international students at LIUC rented cars and drove through the Italians and Swiss Alps. It was an amazing journey with memories I will have for the rest of my life. On another trip, several of the international students attended a four day excursion sponsored by the international student network to Rome for Halloween, where we saw all the famous sites and enjoyed the thrill of being in one of the world’s most acknowledged historic cities. I was also able to spend a weekend in Venice, exploring the canals on a gondola and all the city’s historic sites. Since being back at UNCG, I find myself constantly planning trips for the next chance I have to return to Italy.
When it comes to my future, I feel that everything I learned while going abroad will help me with any situation in life. This experience will also help me to set myself apart from other students in the job market, and show how valuable of an asset I can be to a company, whether domestic or international. After living in Europe for roughly five months, my eyes have been opened to the possibilities of living and working outside of the United States, as well as specializing in International Business. I recommend this experience to every student at UNCG; it’s a life-changing event in your life that will leave you with some of the best memories and some of the best friends around the globe.