Maggie Curran ’19
Maggie Curran ’19
Major: Archaeology, Technology, and Historical Structures
Hometown: Pompano Beach, Florida
“I’m so grateful that someone would be so selfless and offer aid to me.”
When did you go to Italy and what was the program you participated in?
I came to Italy in late August for the fall of 2017 semester in late August, and am actually still here (finals week). I am with the Arezzo, Italian Studies in Tuscany program.
Is this your first time to Italy?
It is! I had only ever traveled to Germany and France before. Italy has been a different experience entirely. I’ve had the opportunity to make myself at home here.
What did it mean to you to receive a scholarship to go to Italy?
I had always considered study aboard as too much of a financial reach for me. Eventually I decided that with dedication and the help of the University study abroad staff (including one of my program directors), that study abroad was attainable. I found that I shouldn’t rule it out because of financial obstacles.
In that, receiving this scholarship was extremely influential in my overall ability to experience all that this program, and Italy, had to offer. I’m so grateful that someone would be so selfless and offer aid to me. But after experiencing only a taste of what Italy has to offer, I completely understand why they would want others to have this amazing opportunity.
What did you learn about yourself and the world by being overseas?
Overseas I have learned just how big the world is. Modernly, everyone preaches on how the world is growing smaller, but my experience has taught me that you never really know what a place is like until you are there. You don’t realize that a small place on a map, that is only a plane ride away, can have so much to offer.
First hand, I have experienced the differences in culture from town to town, and region to region. I’ve recognized that culture is precious. This experience has enabled me to reflect on my own American identity in contrast to the Italian culture I had found myself in. In my own way I have been able to reconcile these new discoveries with what I originally had to bring to the table.
I have learned that I like making relationships with the people I interact with in the city Corso each day. I have learned from the Italians the ease and necessity of turning off all the lights when you are not in a room. And I have learned the importance of happiness, a notion on which Italians place great value.
Anything you want people to know about your experience?
One great memory I have is from the beginning of our trip while we were on our Grand Tour. In Syracuse, Sicily, we all went for a swim in the Mediterranean Sea off of Ortigia Island. From the water we could see the outline of the city, including the ancient foundations building up the city from the sea. We spent the time bounding in the water that took no force to float in, while watching the natives climb the rocks and jump in. In this experience I felt welcomed by the city, drawn in with the tide and embraced in its simplicity.
Going down the road
Global experiences enrich and even transform the lives of our students. To learn how you can support our Italian studies program, contact Ashley Smith, Senior Director, School of Arts & Sciences Advancement, at (585) 276-6561. To learn how to support our myriad education abroad initiatives, contact Lisa Hall, Executive Director, College Advancement, at (585) 273-3619.
—Kristine Thompson, October 2017