The amalfi coast in Italy (image credit: Alissa Butt)

As first-year and transfer students are moving onto campus for the first time and attending First Days activities, 50 sophomores, juniors and seniors are doing the same, but abroad. This semester, there are 29 students in Italy, eight in Ireland, five in England, four in New Zealand, and one person each in Germany, France, Spain and Chile.

Four of these students shared how they spent the summer preparing and even more will be sharing their experiences abroad with the SNHU community throughout the semester.

The summer before studying abroad can be very busy for students. Amanda Richard, class of 2018, spent time learning Italian on the free Duolingo app in preparation for her semester in Florence, Italy, and researching places to travel to in Florence and throughout Europe.

Kelsey Haskins, class of 2019, who will also bet studying in Florence, looked at maps and spent time “catching up with distant friends about their experiences in Florence and what they recommend doing in the city.” She also began learning Italian with the help from her great-grandfather.

Isaiah Banker-Reynolds, class of 2020, researched the culture and customs of England, where he will be studying. ”I have also ensured I have a job for the summer so I have enough money to support myself while overseas,” Banker-Reynolds said.

Narrowing down items to pack for an entire semester in just a suitcase or two can be a daunting experience, but these students have a few items that are essential to their trip.

Richard is bringing comfortable walking shoes and hiking boots. “The walking shoes are going to be essential because I plan on doing a lot of outside activities like hiking, running, biking, walking,” Richard said. “My hiking boots are weatherproof so they will be perfect to wear during rainy days and cold temperatures.” Richard is also bringing a small bag to pack her items in for weekend trips, so she doesn’t have to lug a suitcase around.

The most important item Banker-Reynolds will be bringing is his passport, which will allow him access into other countries and act as a form of identification. He will also be bringing a camera, “in order to capture my entire experience while abroad to remember as I grow old,” Banker-Reynolds said.

Emily Monteforte, class of 2019, is another student studying abroad in Florence, Italy. “I will be bringing my laptop so I can write in my upcoming blog about studying abroad,” Monteforte said. Keeping a blog will help her share her experiences this semester with her friends and family.

She also plans to bring pictures from home to hang in her new room. “I want to bring pictures so I am able to bring a little piece of home to Florence and to remind myself about the support I have back home,” Monteforte said.

Each of these students are looking forward to this adventure for many different reasons. Richard, a culinary management major who is also gluten free, is looking forward to the food.

“I have heard that gluten is much less processed in Europe and usually people who are gluten free in America have no problem digesting European gluten, Richard said. “Meaning, I can eat baguettes, croissants, pizza, and pasta without any repercussions.”

Being abroad also offers plenty of room for personal growth and learning. Haskins looks forward to learning the things she can’t learn in the United States. Monteforte is excited to get out of her comfort zone.

“What excites me the most about studying abroad is being able to grow as a person in another country,” Banker-Reynolds said. “I think this is an amazing opportunity and I cannot wait to get on the plane and fly over to England.”

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