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“Have courage, and do not be afraid of new experiences.” Those words came from our very own, Monique Harbaugh, who studied abroad in Rome, Italy last semester. Monique, a Senior Film Production major here at University of Northwestern – St. Paul, hoped to study a semester in Los Angeles, California, as it has been offered to the Film Production students in the past. However, the study program in Los Angeles was cancelled due to the pandemic.

Photo Credit: Monique Harbaugh

Nevertheless, Monique took action, and with the assistance of Career & Leadership Development, found a school in Rome that matched her major. Monique studied in Rome from August to December of 2021. She enjoyed spending a semester in Italy and immersing herself in its rich culture and history in art and film. During her time, she mostly took marketing classes, a motion design class, as well as Italian!

With her flexible schedule of having classes from Monday through Thursday, Monique spent many of her weekends traveling. She visited Switzerland, France, Portugal, Spain, and the island of Malta. Talk about opportunities! Monique shared that her semester in Rome has impacted her and is grateful that she took the opportunity.

3 Takeaways from Studying Abroad:

  • Have courage.
    • Ask questions.
    • Introduce yourself.
    • Build connections.
  • Plan in advance.
    • Places to visit.
    • Classes to take.
  • Set realistic expectations and goals.
    • Build healthy routines.
    • Prioritize sleep and rest.

Advice & Encouragement:

  • “Do it!”
  • Take every opportunity.
  • Take a culture or history class to immerse yourself better into the country you are in.
  • Studying abroad…
    • Pushes you to grown in a new environment.
    • Gives you better insight into the culture that you are living in.
    • Is a tangible learning experience.