IES Abroad Milan
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Nicole Kruse

Liberal Arts Majors: History, Italian
Hometown: Carmel, New York
Experience Time: Spring 2022

Give us a brief summary of your experience?

For four months, I studied and lived in Milan, Italy. I arrived in January, and as I write this, I have just completed midterms - meaning that I have completed the first half of this experience. I have adapted to the Milanese way of life and embraced the culture entirely. I have entirely fallen in love with Milan, grown significantly more comfortable in my Italian language skills, and met so many wonderful people. Most weeks, I travel on the weekends to other European nations; during the week, I make sure to visit a new museum or place of cultural significance. I am constantly learning and am in awe of something new each day.

How did this experience impact you academically?

As an Italian major, this experience has allowed me to finally be immersed in the subject that I have been studying for years. Although I have been fortunate to study Italian prior to my time as a student at Penn State University, I believe that being put in real-life situations has challenged me to develop my Italian skills significantly. At the doctor's office or the hair salon, I have surprised myself finding the correct Italian words, when under pressure to describe an ailment or hair color shade. Being in an Italian-speaking environment has allowed me to utilize my textbook education towards real-world application.

"I am constantly learning and am in awe of something new each day."

How will this experience impact your career goals?

Since arriving in Milan, I have thought heavily about changing my post-graduation plans. Initially, I intended to work in the United States before attending law school. However, since spending an extended period in Europe, I am considering pursuing a Fulbright. I can see myself only living in Europe for an extended time.

How has the College of the Liberal Arts helped you to find and/or succeed in this experience (e.g., adviser, faculty, staff, enrichment funds, etc.)?

The College of Liberal Arts has helped me succeed in this experience by providing financial support via enrichment funding, which I have been able to use to supplement my time in various ways. For example, I have utilized this funding to purchase tickets to diverse educational experiences such as art galleries, museums, travel, and other immersive experiences.

For more information on education abroad for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

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