BEVERLY, Mass. — Endicott women's soccer rising senior Catherine Elkas (Holden, Mass.) recently studied abroad in Florence, Italy. Here's what the nursing major had to say about her study abroad trip to Italy.
ECGULLS: Please provide a description and/or overview of your trip (where you went, length of trip, other Endicott people you stayed with, etc.)
The study abroad trip I went on was to Florence, Italy for four months in the spring of 2019. I had always hoped to travel abroad in college but I was somewhat nervous about doing it alone. Luckily, several of my teammates and friends accompanied me and we traveled all over Europe together. We first began our journey during Travel Week where we started in Rome and slowly made our way up to Florence while visiting smaller Italian cities and towns such as Perugia, Assisi, Viterbo, and Orvieto. I doubt I would have had the time to visit these hidden gems if not for that week. As the semester progressed, I was lucky enough to visit many countries such as Greece, Croatia, and Germany but it was always nice to simply spend a weekend in Florence exploring the city.
ECGULLS: Describe your overall study abroad experience.
It was a big decision to decide to spend my spring semester in another country away from family, friends, and a school I love. However, it was so worth it for all of the new places and things I got to experience. Whether that be experiencing the beauty of Krka National Park, or attending Springfest in Munich. There was never a dull moment while we were traveling or spending time in Florence because every experience was new and exciting.
ECGULLS: Why would you recommend studying abroad to other students?
I would highly recommend studying abroad to those who wish to step outside of their comfort zone and switch up their normal college experience. The memories from this trip are some that I will carry with me for the rest of my life and I cannot wait to go back. While I love the people I have met at Endicott, it was wonderful meeting new friends from different schools. The only regret I have is not visiting certain places such as Amsterdam and Barcelona but, hopefully, I will have that chance in the future.
ECGULLS: What was the biggest lesson you learned?
The biggest lesson I learned is how to adapt to situations and be more independent. Aside from college, I have never lived on my own so I had to figure out things for myself. Especially with traveling, you just have to learn how to roll with things and deal with setbacks.
ECGULLS: Favorite Experience?
I valued all of the things I got to experience while abroad, but one memory that stood out was my trip to Greece. Santorini was one of those places that seem surreal and pictures truly don't serve it justice. A special night we had there was buying a bottle of wine and watching the sunset. It seemed so simple and yet in the right place with the right people it was something I will never forget.
Describe the educational side of the program.
As a nursing major, I had the opportunity to take classes that I normally wouldn't have had the chance to at Endicott. Biomedical Ethics was one of my favorite classes because of my professor and the coursework. He is a doctor in Italy so he made the class very interesting by incorporating his own personal stories and cases along with the material. As someone who hopes to enter the healthcare field, I found myself thinking of what I would do in certain situations. I believe all of my classes helped to change my perspective and help me look at the world around me in a new way.
ECGULLS: Were there any funny stories from your trip?
Traveling around Europe gets to be expensive, so my group of friends and I tried to cut some corners and save money by finding some creative ways to get to places. For example, we decided to take a 24-hour ferry to Corfu Island instead of flying. We had no access to our phones and had to sleep on the floor of the ferry. We were delirious with boredom and exhaustion so everything was making us laugh. Luckily, we decided to upgrade to beds for the return journey to Florence.
The Endicott Experience feature aims to highlight the entirety of the student-athletes' experiential learning journey throughout their academic careers. The student-athlete at Endicott is afforded the same opportunities as the general student population at the College as it relates to internships, study abroad, and postgraduate career pursuits. This philosophy mirrors the mission statement of the College which every student is encouraged to take intellectual risks, pursue scholarly and creative interests, contribute to the community, and explore diverse career paths. Read more Endicott Experience features by navigating the links below.
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(Photo Credit - David Le '10)