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Oxford Stories: UM Student Studies in Italy

Positano (courtesy of user JeCco as seen on Wikipedia)
Positano (courtesy of user JeCco as seen on Wikipedia)

An increasing number of college students are choosing to study abroad. The Association of International Educators reports that the number of U.S. students studying abroad for credit during the the 2013-2014 academic year grew 5.2 percent from 289,408 students to 304,467 students.

Other statistics indicate that students who study abroad find employment easier than other college graduates and have higher salaries. In a three-part series, we take a look at three University of Mississippi students who went on study abroad adventures.

Italy is known for more than being just the boot-shaped country on a map. It is known for delicious cuisine, such as spaghetti and gelato; romantic cities like Rome; and countryside vineyards. A combination of these things influences students to study abroad and experience Italy.

Hunter Schleicher, a University of Mississippi journalism senior, studied in Florence, Italy the summer before her junior year. With a minor in Italian, Schleicher wanted to study in Europe to better learn the language. “It was something I knew I always wanted to do, and after a couple semesters of taking Italian at Ole Miss, I knew I was ready to go further,” Schleicher said.

Schleicher studied in Italy for eight weeks and lived in an apartment on Via Dei Macci with two other UM students. Being there with two familiar faces helped her become more comfortable with the idea of being away from home.

Schleicher was enrolled in a 200-level Italian course, taking classes on Mondays and Wednesdays for three hours. “It was so much better to study to study Italian in a place where I could actually practice the language in everyday situations,” she said. “I learned a lot, but never had an overwhelming amount of work to do.”

With classes two days a week, Schleicher was able to explore Florence and other cities during her time free time. She and friends took two weekend trips while in Italy. They went to the Amalfi Coast and Positano, as well as the Ultra Music Festival in Split, Croatia.

“I explored as much as possible during my time in Italy, Schleicher said. “I absolutely fell in love with the city of Florence and can’t wait to return.”

Schleicher also enjoyed the famous Italian cuisine. Sipping on a refreshing glass of champagne after a long day of class and eating gelato on a hot summer day were two of her favorites things to do. “The food in America doesn’t even compare to the richness and tastiness of the food in Italy,” she said.

During her time in Florence, Schleicher received credit hours for school. Her only regret was not staying for the entire semester. “Studying abroad was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made,” she said. “I learned new things about the world and myself, and I would recommend it to anyone even considering it.”

sarah henry

Sarah Henry can be reached at slhenry@go.olemiss.edu.

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