The program lasted two glorious weeks and overall my study aboard experience was extraordinary. We went to several cities in Italy, including Rome, Tuscania, Florence, Parma, and Milan. We got to experience several walking tours to learn the history of Italy, many food tours of delicious Italian cuisine, cooked meals with chefs, and visited food production companies.
My most valuable learning experience was getting to cook with the chefs in Florence and participating in Academia Barilla in Parma. It was great to see how passionate the chefs were and how willing they were to guide our classes. I learned several new plating techniques, how to make homemade pastas, and using simple, fresh ingredients is the secret to great food.
My most memorable experience from this amazing trip was doing an unexpected hike from Florence to Fiesole. It was nearly four miles, very steep, and started raining halfway up! I may have complained and was sore for a couple of days, but I am so happy I got to experience getting to the top with some incredible travel partners!
What advice would you give?
My advice for other students is to try everything, especially new foods. It sounds cliché but you will never know if you like something if you never try it.
How has this experience impacted your life?
This experience has impacted my life in many incredible ways. My personal life has been impacted by connecting with several like-minded individuals that share the same love for travel, food, and learning, and having the opportunity to network with them later in life. Educationally, I got to immerse myself in a different culture and get to learn first-hand how they live daily. My long-term goals have been greatly impacted, I will get to share this experience with my students and teach them traditional Italian cooking.
How did you learn about this experience?
I learned about this international opportunity while on the ISU Abroad page two years ago, and from fliers posted in MacKay Hall.International Connections