California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

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One Student’s Quest to Study Abroad in Italy

Vanessa Frisina takes advantage of campus programs to help students study abroad

Studying abroad is something that many students wish they could do, but very few actually act that upon. Vanessa Frisina is making happen.

Next quarter, CSU East Bay student Vanessa Frisina, who decided she would study abroad her freshman year after receiving and informational e-mails from the Center for International Education on campus, will be traveling to Italy to study abroad and expand her horizons.

“I knew I wanted to study abroad since I was in high school,” said Frisina. “I have always been fascinated with living in another country and then I learned I could do it… and it instantly became something I put on my to-do list!”

Frisina chose to travel to Italy next quarter because of her Italian heritage. Having traveled there before, she realized the food and culture there appealed to her.

“I have been there before, and fell in love with it,” she said.

Though she doesn’t know the language and will be taking classes in English, Frisina is learning basic Italian phrases to ensure that she won’t be lost while outside of classes exploring the country.

“I just don’t want to get lost,” she added, “and asking for directions could be a little difficult because I don’t know the language well enough.”

Traveling in a different country can be a nerve-wracking experience for anyone, especially a student alone and living in a place where the primary language is one aside from your own, but Frisina is embracing it.

“I am most nervous about not knowing how to get around or not knowing the city,” she said. “My first goal is to make one friend who knows the area and will help me get around.”

Apart from being Italian herself, Frisina is anticipating the worldly experience and knowledge about Italian art and history in its original context.

“I am most excited about seeing everything I’ve heard about, read about, and seen pictures of,” explained Frisina. “The statues and paintings and architecture is worth the trip in itself! I also cannot wait to be in the city that I will be learning about in my classes.”

Preparing for a trip like this is hard for any new traveler, but luckily Frisina is a seasoned globe-trotter, who has visited countries like Switzerland, France, Thailand, and even Zimbabwe.

Because of all this experience, she is taking steps to ensure that she will easily acclimate to her new European surroundings.

“I’ve been walking a lot lately to prepare myself for the constant walking,” said Frisina. “Mentally, I have just been preparing myself for leaving and putting a lot of things on hold.”

Excitement about the learning experience aside, Frisina is nervous about leaving the life and all of her projects she has here.

“It will be pretty hard to leave everyone here,” she said. “That is probably why I am not doing the year-long program because I don’t think I can be away from them for that long. This amount of time will be perfect.”

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California State University East Bay
One Student’s Quest to Study Abroad in Italy