Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am 25 years old and I currently live in Montreal, Canada. I was born and raised in Italy, which is also where I went to college. I attended John Cabot University, an American university in Rome, and graduated in International Business. As of now, I am about to complete my master’s degree in International Studies with a focus on Development, Cooperation, and Economics from University of Montreal.
How was your study abroad experience? Can you share more about your time abroad?
Canada might be my home right now, but the experience I had in the United States has a special place in my heart. At the age of 18, I left for a study-vacation in San Francisco, California and I would do it all over again. My main objective was to be able to speak English fluently and I can proudly say that this decision gave me the confidence I needed to fulfill that goal. Although my time in California was a challenge at first as it was my very first experience outside of Europe, it opened my mind in so many ways and gave me the opportunity to meet people from all over the world. I was able to step out of my comfort zone and improve my language skills, which was my top priority when I left for the States.
Why did you choose San Francisco, CA?
San Francisco had been my dream destination for the longest time. I would see it in movies when I was a little girl and dream of visiting its colorful houses, rolling hills and beaches one day. The city has a lot to offer and I loved everything about it. I found the people there extremely friendly and open. This made the whole experience even better since I was away from family and friends for the first time. I was fortunate enough to meet new people I am still friends with and get to know my amazing host family. My favorite San Francisco activity was to enjoy the sunset by the Golden Gate Bridge and ride the cable cars. I would definitely recommend to visit the Golden Gate Park and Alcatraz Island.
How did your study abroad experience affect your present and life decisions overall?
I can say that my study abroad experience was life-changing. I always dreamt of studying abroad to learn new languages and meet new people, and this made me love it even more. Once it was time for me to find my college fit, I did not think twice about enrolling at an American university. I had the opportunity to study in a foreign language and be exposed to the American culture while staying in my home country. After graduation, I decided to permanently move abroad to my current home, Canada. Montreal is a bilingual city and I love that I have the chance to speak both English and French on a daily basis. I owe it all to my time in San Francisco and how it changed my perspective on the things I could achieve.
Please share any feedback for those considering moving to the States.
Whatever your dream may be, please do not hesitate. Do not wait or let challenges frighten or stop you from achieving your goals. I believe there is always a way no matter what dream you might have or how hard it may look. My advice to whoever is reading is not to let your worry or fear doubt your capabilities. Instead, focus on the good. Believe in yourself and use that strength to take you wherever you want to go.