By: Kasey Andrade
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go? This is a question that has intrigued me, as I have always enjoyed traveling to new places. This love for traveling made studying abroad a goal of mine for as long as I can remember. I knew when I entered college that I was ready for a bigger adventure, and wanted to travel internationally for the first time. I had researched study abroad programs since my earliest days at BSU, and in the spring semester of my sophomore year I found the program that was a perfect fit for me – a ten day travel course to Sicily. This course, entitled “Sicily: Greeks, Good Food, and The Godfather,” was being offered by the Communication Studies department. As a Communication Studies student, I was able to use this course as elective credit toward my major. Along with aligning with my field of study, participating in this program gave me a chance to fulfill my lifelong dream of going to Italy, a place where history, culture, and natural beauty surround you at every turn.
As the trip approached and my course assignments began, I started learning more about Sicily’s culture and became even more excited for the journey on which I was about to embark. When the time came for my group to travel to Sicily I was eager to reach our destination. Before our airplane even landed in Palermo, I was in awe and realized no amount of research could prepare me for the natural beauty of Sicily. Throughout the trip I was captivated by the stunning landscapes of the island. Each day there was a new highlight of the trip, as my group traveled across the island, visiting cities such as Palermo, Marsala, Catania, and Taormina, to name only a few. We spent our days in Sicily visiting ancient Greek ruins, touring cathedrals, tasting authentic Italian pizza and pasta, swimming in the Mediterranean Sea, climbing Mount Etna – the most active volcano in Europe – and then watching the volcano come to life as it erupted one night. With the help of our tour guide, we were able to learn some of the Italian language and understand what daily life is like in Sicily. While the trip lasted only ten days, we were able to fully immerse ourselves into Sicilian life and participate in experiences that led to memories that will last a lifetime.
Participating in this travel course to Sicily has been the most rewarding experience I have had during my time at BSU. Traveling internationally was truly eye-opening and something that I would recommend to everyone. Not only does this type of travel allow you to learn about a different culture and way of life, but upon deeper reflection it can help you learn more about yourself.
To learn more about the different programs offered by the Office of Study Abroad visit the Study Abroad Fair on Tuesday, September 13 from 12pm-3pm in the RCC Ballroom or visit their website at: https://my.bridgew.edu/departments/StudyAbroad/SitePages/Home.aspx.