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Elisa Celli’s Journey to the International Business Dual Degree Program

As a high school student studying abroad from Italy in the United States, Elisa Celli had no idea she would be attending NC State when she began her senior year in Florida. Luckily, Celli found herself in Raleigh for the fall 2017 semester as an International Business Dual Degree (IBDD) student. 

Celli’s American academic career began with language barrier difficulty in high school in Fort Lauderdale, but she soon adapted to her new environment. She described her experience as enriching with extracurricular opportunities and being exposed to American academic customs. 

“At first I did not even know about the existence of the IBDD program but after further research I found many initiatives for international students at Poole,” said Celli.

The IBDD program allows students to spend their first two years at NC State before studying at an international partner institution. Celli is in the Italian track and is planning to attend Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Piacenza, Italy.

Life as an IBDD Student

Celli found her stride in Poole College as she took part in the opportunities offered by the program including the Thanksgiving dinner, sharing stories with her peers and helping recruit potential students. She also became a language ambassador for the program and helped the Global Programs team by emailing and calling prospective high school students and participating in student panels for Make-A-Date and open house events.

With the support of faculty and students, Celli felt as though she was a part of a community within Poole College of Management where she could share her stories and parts of her culture. The Global Programs team tries to host different events throughout the semester to bring students in the different language tracks together to socialize and get to know each other. 

“We had these bake-off events which divided us into small groups of students who brought in desserts that represent their home countries,” said Celli. “It was interesting to taste other cultures’ cakes and dishes in an environment where everyone felt free to share their own traditions and experiences.”

Moving Forward

The presence of COVID-19 has potentially put a halt to Celli’s initial plan of returning to Italy for the fall 2020 semester.Though she is confident she will have the opportunity to return home, Celli encourages other study abroad students to be hopeful and put on a brave face. 

“Studying abroad will definitely be a challenge as there is no cure for COVID-19 at the moment,” said Celli. “But when it becomes safe, students need to embrace the new normal abroad with confidence.”

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