Hi travelers! Slugs of the World is a new feature where we’ll be interviewing a study abroad returnee once a week to give you some insight on what it’s really like to leave UCSC and experience the world!
Mina is a fourth-year psychology major here at UCSC. She studied abroad on a multicity program which means she got to spend 5 weeks in Rome and 5 weeks in Madrid. I asked Mina a few questions about her experience abroad.
Mina with the view from the orange grove on Aventine Hill in Rome
Q: What were you first impressions when you landed on Italian soil?
A: After an eventful and unexpected 8 hour layover in NY and an equally long flight, I was so thankful to have finally landed in Rome! I was excited, tired, but also surprised at how much writing was in English. Through winding halls I found my way outside of the airport to the taxi area that I had no idea how to navigate. I noticed an employee was speaking English so I looked at the taxis and asked, “How do I get one?” He hailed a cab, I checked the logo to make sure it was the correct district cab like the program instructions said and I was on my way. My first impression of Italians was that they were helpful and pleasant.
Q: What do you miss most about being abroad?
A: I miss the constant excitement, curiosity, and adrenaline that was coursing through my veins everyday I was abroad. There is something so invigorating about exploring new terrain. There was always something to do and a new place to visit. Both Italy and Spain had so much to offer whether it was the ruins of an ancient palace in Rome or the majestic skyline seen from the roof of Circulo de Bellas Artes. Everyday was a stimulating adventure and a new learning experience.
Q: Why did you choose the multi-city program?
A: I chose a multi-city program because it was different, I could go to two countries within the same program! It was also in late spring which means great weather. I really enjoyed comparing and contrasting two major cities in Europe – even though they were only a two hour flight away from each other, the environment in both places was so different
Q: What would you say to someone considering your program?
I would say do it! This program offers you the chance to see both places as well as learn about the history (politics, architecture, and immigration) that you can see remnants of as you step outside of the classroom. I would also suggest looking into the internship program. I did not do it but I think it’s a wonderful opportunity to work with different people!
Thanks to Mina for sharing! If you have studied abroad you can be featured on Slugs of the World! Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us where you studied.