While I was preparing to study abroad, I met Danielle Hennies, ’19, in the Global Studies Office at St. Kate’s. We bonded over the excitement of studying for four months in Italy. Last December, we spoke about connecting while we were away from St. Kate’s. While in Italy, I made a day trip to Perugia (the city where Hennies was staying) to visit my fellow Katie.
Although I am appreciative of all the friends I have made here in Rome, it can be relieving to see a familiar face who understands my Minnesota and St. Kate’s references. Hennies was generous enough to share her experiences in Perugia.
Hennies initially knew she wanted to study in a town that is similar to the Minnesota lifestyle she has back home. She told me, “The Umbra Institute has less than one hundred students. It is a small school in an area with other larger universities similar to St. Kate’s in that sense.” The university’s students are friendly and nice, which is a comforting reminder for the Minnesota-nice atmosphere Hennies knows back home.
In Hennies’ courses in Umbra, the focuses involve Italian food and culture. In her history and culture of food class, she samples foods “that are native or seasonal to Italy.”
Hennies time studying abroad ends on April 27. However, she will be traveling with her mom to various countries in Europe. She explains that she will miss the various aspects of living in her small hometown community. “I will miss eating authentic Italian food from local shops that I buy my groceries from, the partnership I have with locals and the view of Perugia because everywhere you look you can see another beautiful scenic view.”
As Hennies’ half-way point approaches quickly, she reflects on her experiences that she has had the opportunity to have. What she has learned throughout her journey can be helpful information for future Katies who plan to study abroad.
“I have learned that I enjoy my independence to explore new places and travel. With this new experience in Perugia, I have learned to communicate better with family and friends. The slower-paced lifestyle of Italy makes you slow down and see what is around you.”