Dinehome Experience of Julianna, student in Bologna in 2015.
Julianna, 22, USA
J. was an international student in Bologna in the fall of 2015. She studied International studies.
Why Italy and why Bologna for your international studies?
I chose to study abroad in Italy because my family is originally from Italy and I love the culture, food, and people! I also LOVE Italian food and the culture behind it, so Italy and Bologna were clearly the best places to be for that!
I chose to study International Studies in Bologna because my college, Dickinson College, has a great program in the city that works with John’s Hopkins and University of Bologna which I thought was a really cool partnership. I was able to meet a lot of other kids because of Dickinson’s connection with these schools in the city. Also, I am studying human security, and a major focus of my studies is the immigration crisis that is affecting Italy and the EU, so Italy was a great place to be to experience and see the effects of this crisis first hand.
Why you decided to do the Dinehome project while here?
I decided to do the Dinehome program because I really wanted to learn about the Italian culture and people that I was surrounded by during my semester, and I wanted to make connections with people that were meaningful and long lasting. I was curious to see an Italian household, and learn more about how the people, the city, and the home-life. I also saw the Dinehome project as a way of having a family while I was away from mine, which was a great way to help me adjust to life abroad!
There are so many things to gain from this experience! It really depends on what you are hoping to get from this experience and how you commit to it. I was able to really strengthen and test my Italian skills which was one of the greatest academic gains. Personally, the best thing I got from this was the family connections and friendships I have with my host family that I know will last along time! They were so sweet and were always a bright point of my week — I really looked forward to going over to their house and having family and goodfood around me!
Would you like to share with us the most embarrassing moment?
I would say that being abroad and not knowing the language is not really an embarrassing moment, but definitely awkward! I had to pretend that I understood or try to explain that I didn’t understand a few times—but that is how you learn!
The best dinner and night with your host family?
My host mom was such an amazing cook so EVERY meal was great. However, I told my Dinehome family that I loved truffles and the next week they surprised me with a meal that had fresh truffle shaved over it! It was amazing! That meal was definitely one of my favorite and most memorable meals. My host mom also made a delicious ricotta cheesecake that was out of this world!