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.