10 Reasons To Study Abroad This Summer

10 Reasons To Study Abroad This Summer

The main reasons to study abroad in the summer!

This past summer of 2017 I had the pleasure of going to Italy on a study abroad program through Stonehill College. The program focused on sustainability, art, food and environmental science. We lived on this off-road farm where we harvested potatoes, created our own art supplies, such as paper, and got to venture into Siena, Italy. The program lasted a quick three weeks- however, I stayed an extra week with my friend so we could visit Rome, Florence, Positano, and Pisa! So, basically, if you have seen the Lizzie McGuire movie when she goes to Italy, that was me minus the hot pop singer.

There were seven Stonehill students that accompanied me on my grand adventure across the globe! They are some of the best people I have ever met and I am so grateful to have met them! However, not only did our course cover science, and art, it also fulfilled my Learning Community requirement and Moral Inquiry! So here are some reasons why you should study abroad in the summer!

1. You get to fulfill credits while in a foreign country

While going to college to pursue your dreams is fun, it requires putting in the hours. Over the course of four years at college, you have to obtain a certain number of credits. However, if you plan to double major, or minor it can be difficult to find room for studying abroad and fulfill your credits. But, by studying abroad in the summer you kill two birds with one stone; fulfilling credits and visiting a foreign country!

2. You don't miss out on fun with friends at school! NO F.O.M.O HERE!

While studying abroad during a semester is fun, you can't help but wonder what's going on back home. By studying during the summer, you aren't missing Stonehill Bingo nights, Saturday night vent sessions with friends, or Fresh Check Day- because who wants to miss tiny, cute animals?

3. You get to brag!

All your friends are at work at home while you're in a foreign country! Who wouldn't brag about that? Also, depending on the program, you can study abroad for a few weeks and still have time to come home to work! So, you can make money and study abroad, its a win-win!

4. You have more time to take classes because you took school during the summer!

Do you plan on minoring? How about double-majoring? Same. However, it can be difficult to study all the subjects one wants and study abroad. By studying abroad in the summer your have more opportunities to minor or double-major increasing your skill set and building your resume!

5. You get to meet people you may not meet in class or on campus!

When you study abroad in the summer, you are with the group of people the entire time. Therefore, you are able to develop deep and lifelong friendships and relationships in a foreign country! How cool would it be to say you met your best friend in Africa?

6. It's a nice change of scenery after a year of working hard at school!

After a long year of hitting the books, it's refreshing to have a different view that the library. For example, the beautiful rolling hills of the Tuscany landscape. Studying abroad in the summer is like a gift you give yourself after a long year of work.

7.You don't need to worry about getting lost in a foreign country

When studying abroad in the summer, you are typically with your professors the majority of the time, at least that was the case on my trip! That way you never have to worry about getting lost or communicating! With adults around you get to be a kid more and truly enjoy your experience.

8. You get to eat lots of yummy food after eating school food for a year!

While I am so thankful for our amazing dining staff at the Commons, it is no gourmet Italian food. After a long year of eating school cafeteria food, you are gifted with delicious foreign food like yummy pasta and pizza. Trust me on this, once you eat Italian pizza, you will never go back. Ever.

9. Everything that happens during study abroad stays in the study abroad

Most of you have heard the saying, "Whatever happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas." Well the same applies when you're abroad. I would say more about my experiences but then I would be breaking the golden rule. Have fun and let your hair down!

10. In most foreign countries, you're of age! Welcome that glass of wine with dinner!

You are of age! Yes, in most foreign countries you are allowed to drink a delicious glass of wine with dinner or a fruity Bitter Shandy at the bar with friends.

If you have any questions about my trip through Stonehill feel free to contact me! The course was called Mindful Palette: Food, Art and Sustainability!

Cover Image Credit: personal

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If You Give A Girl A Little Brother

You've given her the world.

I remember back to my childhood, standing at the top of the steps yelling down to my parents "Why did you decide to have another child?" I remember riding in the backseat yelling "Mom, was I not good enough for you?" as my brother threw snow at me .

I remember crying when my mom made us share our first cell phone. I remember playing in a pool at a waterpark, and my dad couldn't play with me because my brother couldn't swim and needed my dad to be with him. I played by myself, thinking "They must have not wanted a girl when they only pay attention to him."

But now, at almost 22, I realized that the best gift God has ever given me was my little brother.

Give a girl a little brother, and you give her a pain in her ass.

Oh, he'll be annoying. He'll get in the shower just because you said you were going to. He'll start talking every time you do. He'll pull stupid pranks, he'll make you listen to bogus music, he'll make you watch stupid tv shows, he'll smell up the bathroom (and probably smell himself.) and boy, I promise there will be day's you will resent him. But he's just training for living with your husband one day.

Give a girl a little brother, and you give her a role.

As a big sister, I had somebody copying all my moves. If I did something, so did he. If I didn't eat something, neither did he. If I didn't like somebody neither did he. He was like a little shadow that did everything I did, so I was always motivated to make good choices and make him proud of me.

Give a girl a little brother, and you give her a rough side.

I wouldn't have done half the things I did if it wasn't for him. Play basketball in the drive way, spend hours on our bikes, spend the summer days in the pool, or down at the park. I wouldn't have learned that it's okay to get in the dirt and have some fun. I wouldn't have played half the made up, imaginary games we played every day. I wouldn't have played with Hot Wheels, or Lincoln Logs, or Leggo's. I would have played with Barbies by myself all day long, and what's the fun in that?

Give a girl a little brother, and you give her the best friend she'll ever have.

In the end, when our parent's both pass away, I won't be alone, because I will have my little brother. When the world gets tough, and everyone turns away from me, he will always be there. No matter where he end's up in life, I know he will drop everything and come running when I'm in need.

For Christmas this year, I bought my brother his first tattoo. We got matching tattoo's on our sides. Our lives our different now, because we're grown up and live on opposite sides of the state. But no matter where we go in life, if we look up, we will be looking at the same sun and moon. We are made up of the same matter, 'made' by the same people, and love each other more than I think we'd like to admit.

Alex is my true other-half.

Give a girl a little brother, and you made her whole.

Cover Image Credit: Abby Engel

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Everyone Should Visit Rome At Least Once In His Or Her Life

The atmosphere of the city truly makes you feel like you're in the middle of a movie set.


I am writing this article while sitting on a bus heading from Rome to the airport to catch my flight to Paris and it has given me some time to reflect on my last few days here. After spending quite a bit of time here, I definitely think that If you get the opportunity to travel to Rome, you should do so, you will not regret it. You may be asking yourself, why is Rome so special and fantastic? Isn't it just home to the Colosseum, the Vatican, and some good Italian restaurants? The answer is no, Rome is so much more than that, it's fabulous cuisine, jaw-dropping architecture, fantastic attractions, and it truly makes you feel as if you've been transported back in time and are in the middle of history.

While in Rome, my family and I had the opportunity to visit both the famous Sistine Chapel and the Colosseum. Both of these incredible attractions made us feel as if we were really there, in Ancient Rome and in the presence of Michelangelo as he painted the ceiling of the chapel. In addition, the jaw-droppingly gorgeous architecture added to the beauty of the city. From the Trevi fountain to the capital building to the statues in the Vatican, every structure made me look up in absolute awe. Truthfully, it is well worth going to Rome just to see the beautiful architecture.

Furthermore, the atmosphere of the city truly makes you feel like you're in the middle of a movie set. Everything is so picturesque that you feel like it isn't even real like it's a facade. One day my family and I stopped to have a snack at this small restaurant that was situated on a quiet street and we all kept remarking at how it was so beautiful (and how the food was so good) and especially how it felt like we were on the set of a movie, with how picturesque and quiet it was. Simply put, the sights of Rome are breathtakingly beautiful! Everywhere you look you find more "hidden gems" that add more and more beauty to an already incredible city.

In addition to talking about all of the beautiful architecture, great attractions, and amazing atmosphere, how can one go to Rome and not talk about the food! The food in Rome in indescribably good. The pizza, while very different from what you typically find in a pizza place in the United States, is extremely fresh and delicious. The pasta was absolutely amazing and much thicker than what you would find in America. The vegetables were extremely fresh, especially the tomatoes which were very red and actually much sweeter than I anticipated.

Overall, from its architecture to its atmosphere to its attractions to its food, going to Rome was an incredible experience. And it was definitely an experience that I will never forget! I will definitely be back for another experience of a lifetime! Now it's on to Paris and then London. Ciao, for now, Rome, and Grazie (that's thank you in Italian) for everything.

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