Solving the Study Abroad Puzzle

Jacquelyn O’Malley is a student at The College of New Jersey and an ISA Featured Blogger. Jackie will soon be studying abroad in Florence, Italy on the ISA Summer 3 program.

Choosing my study abroad program worked a lot like solving a puzzle.  I cut out my four major areas of concern, and then went searching for all of the pieces.  Luckily, ISA seemed to have all of the pieces I needed.

1)   Piece #1: Timing

I’ve always wanted to study abroad but I hated the idea of missing an entire semester at school.  ISA offers plenty of summer courses, which is a perfect fit for me because I could work for part of the summer, and still have time to see my family for my last “summer vacation” before graduating college.

2)   Piece #2: Course Selection

I knew I wanted to go somewhere that I could earn credits towards my Journalism minor.  ISA has a wide range of classes that can fit almost anyone’s needs.  When I stumbled upon “Travel Journalism” as a course offering, I knew it was the one I wanted to take.

3)   Piece #3: Country

For someone who has never been outside of the United States, I didn’t really have a major preference as to where I wanted to go.  But when I saw that Travel Journalism was offered in Florence, I was sold.  Italy made perfect sense because I’m half Italian and living in Italy would be a great way to understand my own family background.  Also, as an English major, I have a weakness for lit history and Italy is loaded with historical landmarks.  And of course I’d be lying if I didn’t mention the Italian food was a factor in my decision…

4)   Piece #4: Program Support

The staff at ISA made the whole paperwork/departure process super smooth.  From the very start they were always responsive to each of my questions, which made me realize how much more comfortable I will feel with their on-site staff in Italy. They provide plenty of informational packets about your host-country and general traveling tips as well.

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