Studying in Piacenza, Italy - A small town with a big heart
Last summer, thirty-two students from NC State chose to study abroad in Piacenza, Italy. These students found themselves completely immersed in a new culture, complete with a new diet, a new daily schedule, and a new home away from home.
The Italy: Ethics and Law Summer 2018 program embraces the local culture of a small Italian town while offering an opportunity for students to complete NC State courses abroad. Piacenza (left) provides a welcoming environment for the students to build their international communication skills, despite any language barriers that may be present. Robyn Sawyers, a College of Agriculture and Life Sciences student on this year’s program, commented: “The locals are so kind and easy to work with, and smiles can be exchanged, even if we don’t speak the same language,” while Poole student Hali Reese refers to Piacenza as “a small town with a big heart.”
In addition to the course work in Business Law and Business Ethics, the students also study Doing Business in Italy. This course includes both corporate visits, such Maserati and Barilla, and lectures from the local professors of Universita Cattolica Del Sacro Cuore. To expose the students to a variety of Italian cultures, the program also travelled to Pisa, Florence, Rome, Vatican City, and Cortona and left free weekends for students to travel independently to other destinations. This year, some of the students visited Cinque Terra, Venice, and Verona.
Though the students decided to embark on this adventure for a variety of reasons, many of them have had similar takeaways. Hali Reese reflects that she has “become more independent, more appreciative, and more apt to travel to other countries and experience new things” because of her time abroad with Poole Global. She notes that “what surprised [her] the most about Italy is how much time is valued. Everything, except for the driving, is slower [there]…meals, stores closing in the middle of the day so that they can take a break, and much more.” For this group of students, being part of the Pack Abroad has awarded them an internationally-engaged mindset and an unforgettable college experience, but most importantly, it has taught them that leaving their comfort zone can have incomparable positive results.