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  • A large group of college students standing in front of an ornate Italian building.

    My Internship Abroad: Working and Eating My Way Across Italy

    Madison Butler

    My dream came true last summer, and I am still living in the past. I was able to do an international internship in Florence, Italy and what a trip it was! I was blessed with an opportunity to work with two brands, Steve Madden and UGG, to monitor global markets for new and upcoming styles and trends, import and export shoes (especially when preparing for Florence Men’s Fashion Week), and assist sales vendors in the English language.

    I was able to learn side-by-side with my coworkers to navigate international business and open my eyes to another part of the world. My coworkers welcomed me with open arms, and our first step was to try and tackle the language barrier. They were the kindest and most encouraging women that could welcome me in such a new environment. We became friends easily and I still talk to them today!

    Now don’t believe this blog will be all work no play! I am a huge foodie and Italy exceeded my expectations beyond belief, and they were pretty high to begin with. From the Florentine Bistec, to watching my pasta be cooked in an alfredo cheese wheel, I was able to experience every foodie’s dream: eating high quality and volume of great food. There were plenty of family style restaurants that had more outside seating than you can imagine, and the people-watching was top tier, too. Eating in front of the Duomo is a memory I will never forget.

    I mainly stayed in Florence throughout the summer for the internship, but I was able to travel all over Italy and even made my way to Austria and Hungary for a bit. The northern and southern parts of Italy were different but held the same atmosphere. The northern Tuscany region was rich with breathtaking views of rolling green hills and vineyards for miles (for my fellow U.S. residents I promise I am 21!). The southern part was all beach and ocean which did not disappoint at all.

    I was also able to visit Cinque Terre, which is a string of centuries-old seaside villages on the rugged Italian Riviera coastline. There was an array of multicolored houses and markets and sand all along the coastline. My camera roll is stacked and ready for reminiscing.

    I am here to tell you: if you are thinking of studying/working/going abroad, GO! It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity as a student and tagging along with other students is a whole other experience itself. I will always remember my lovely summer in Italy and would not trade it for the world!

    Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog?  If you are a college student and interested in writing for us – click here to pitch your idea and get started! 


  • A scenic view of a small Italian town by the water.

    Top 10 Tips for Studying Abroad

    Emma Karant

    In the summer of 2022, I was fortunate enough to study abroad in Florence, Italy! This was a very exciting experience for me, but mixed in with the excitement was a feeling of fear of the unknown. I did not feel prepared going into this new experience. Because of this, I have made a list of 10 tips everyone should know before studying abroad!

    1. Keep a journal

    This is something that I did not do, but I really wish that I did! However, my roommate kept a journal and wrote in it every day. Even if it was a little entry, it helped her remember all of the small things that happened that we sometimes forget about!

    2. Bring comfortable shoes

    Wearing comfortable shoes is one of the biggest pieces of advice I can give! On most days, I was averaging 20,000 steps! Trust me, your feet will thank you!

    3. Make new friends

    Although the whole experience may be very intimidating, remember to keep an open mind! Make friends with people who you would not expect to be friends with. I didn't know anyone when I flew to Florence, however, I kept an open mind and tried to meet as many people as possible!

    4. Go to new places

    Especially in Europe, traveling to other nearby countries is fairly easy and cheap compared to being in the United States. My best advice would be to take advantage of this! Traveling to other countries on the weekend was very common, and it was really cool to be able to see different parts of Europe other than where I stayed!

    5. Have a budget

    With all of that being said, it is essential to have a budget. It is best to research the average prices for things where you are studying, and then base a budget on that, as well as how much you can afford. It can be very easy to spend too much money when you are abroad, so it is essential to do this before you leave!

    6. Always have some cash

    Lots of places in Europe are cash only, so it is helpful to have cash on you at all times just in case. I suggest getting this at your bank before you go abroad because it can be expensive to make this transfer outside of the United States!

    7. Send postcards back home

    This is a small tip that I wish I did more. Since we traveled on the weekends, I wish that I sent my family a postcard from each country or town that we visited, and then kept one for myself! This is a small way to keep your family or friends updated with your travels, and it gives you a tangible thing to have from each place that you visit!

    8. Learn a little of the native language

    It is really helpful if you try to learn at least a few words and phrases of the language that people speak in the country you will be staying in! Although many big cities such as Florence, Rome, and Paris can understand English well, it can be very helpful to try and learn the language while you are there, and it helps you understand the culture better!

    9. Do not be afraid to ask for help

    Although sometimes this may be scary, do not be afraid to ask for help from your professors or people you may meet in passing! Being in a new country can be confusing at times, and it is okay to ask people how to do something or how to get somewhere!

    10. Remember to rest!

    Although studying abroad is so much fun, remember to rest while you are there! You want to take care of yourself, so make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get some sleep and have downtime!

    Most importantly, remember to have fun! Studying abroad is one of the most incredible things I have ever done, and I would not change my experience for anything. Soak up the moments that you are there because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

    Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog?  If you are a college student and interested in writing for us – click here to pitch your idea and get started! 


  • A group of nine college students standing arm-in-arm on the front steps of an academic building.

    Three Tips to Maximize Your Study Abroad Experience

    Nicole Fatovic

    One of my must-dos in college was to study abroad. I was fortunate enough to make that happen this past summer, and it was everything that I had imagined. While I was able to explore London and Paris with my newly gained friends, it was easy to get caught up in the “abroad” part of the experience and forget what I was actually there for, which was the “study” part of the study abroad program.

    I went to London and Paris through a school-sponsored program for my major. I was able to take six credit hours of classes taught by professors from my school. Instead of using a traditional classroom setting, we went on daily excursions to various places in each city. Additionally, most of my assignments and projects were due at the end of the program.

    You’re probably thinking that I did not touch most of my schoolwork until the end of the program, and you would be correct. With the setup of my program and my eagerness to explore, it was effortless for me to put off my work and find tons of other things to do. While this was nice in the beginning, I started to feel overwhelmed by the amount of work I still had not touched and all of the things I still had not done in the city as the program progressed.

    Here are three ways you can maximize your time abroad while ensuring you gain the full educational experience you signed up for.

    Daily Down Times

    My first piece of advice is to utilize mornings and evenings for schoolwork so that your day is open for exploration and class time. While it is nice to have these times to reset and relax when needed, I think these are great times to get your schoolwork done without having to compromise other plans throughout the day.

    Healthy Habits

    Another thing that students often take for granted, whether abroad or not, is getting a good night’s sleep. Allowing your body to rest is especially important when you are in a new setting and are trying to squeeze in a vacation on top of academics. Be mindful of your fluctuating energy levels, too. Stay hydrated and try to stick to healthy food choices as much as possible; don’t splurge too much on the local delicacies.

    Plan Ahead

    Finally, in order to make the most of your time, it is important to plan ahead and make lists. Before going abroad, I utilized the bookmarks tab in Google Maps. It was a great tool for searching the places I wanted to go, visually marking them onto a map, sharing them with friends, and executing the perfect plan each day.

    If you plan to study abroad, I can almost guarantee that within the blink of an eye, you will already be approaching the end of your experience and yearning for more time. Studying abroad was the best decision I have made in college so far, and I would highly recommend it!

    Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog?  If you are a college student and interested in writing for us – click here to pitch your idea and get started! 


  • A nighttime view of a European city skyline.

    Travel Tips for Study Abroad

    Arya Kirpekar

    One of the most popular and loved things to do in college is study abroad. It provides an amazing opportunity for students to explore different countries and cultures while still getting a meaningful education in their field. While it is an incredibly exciting endeavor, it can also be slightly terrifying. You are in a new country where you may or may not understand the local dialect with new people and that can be nerve-wracking.

    I know I was nervous going into my twelve-week study abroad program last summer. However, I am here to tell you that, no matter what you may think, studying abroad is a one-of-a-kind experience that you can do. From what to pack and what not to pack to the easiest ways to make friends, here are my best tips for studying abroad.

    1. It’s Okay to Overpack! (On Some Things)

    One of the most difficult parts of preparing for study abroad is deciding what outfits make the cut for Instagram-worthy photos and what outfits need never to leave your apartment, let alone the country. While those adorable outfits are very necessary and fun to have, don’t overlook comfort. When you’re leaving home for an extended period of time, comfortable clothes can sometimes be a source of that “homey” feeling you may want. So, pack that comfort hoodie and your favorite shorts. You won’t regret it.

    2. You Don’t Have to Do Everything Right Now

    Studying abroad is an extremely unique opportunity to travel and do things all over the world. However, you’ll (hopefully) be able to travel more in your lifetime. You don’t need to do every excursion or tour offered in every city you visit. Pick a few favorites and save the rest for a trip back there. Some of my favorite days were unplanned and included just wandering the city.

    3. Some Things Are Worth Spending the Money on If You Can

    On the opposite side of my previous tip, some things really are worth spending money on. One of my biggest examples of this is a good meal. Traveling is expensive and food can be a really easy way to cut expenses. However, some places are worth sitting down and having a nice meal. If you’re going to Italy, pay a little bit extra to have a nice bowl of pasta for dinner if you are able. It’s worth it.

    4. Don’t Be Afraid to Strike Up a Conversation with Someone New

    One of my favorite parts of studying abroad has been the people I was lucky enough to travel with. I went into the summer knowing no one I would be traveling with. That was really scary. I consider myself fairly good at making friends, but it’s not always the most fun or comfortable thing to do. My biggest advice for this would be to just start the conversation. One of my friend’s favorite conversation starters is an uncomfortable, but fun one. Without knowing her very well in the first week of traveling, she walked up to me and simply asked for my life story. My initial reaction was confusion, but upon telling her about my middle school experience and the concert that changed my life, we became so much closer. A simple, but effective question.

    5. Push Yourself to Try New Things!

    Last, but not least, while studying abroad in itself is a new experience, be open to more new experiences while traveling. Whether it’s going to a piano bar in Paris or getting a rooftop hot chocolate in Prague, those new things are what will make your study abroad a completely life-changing experience.

    Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog?  If you are a college student and interested in writing for us – click here to pitch your idea and get started! 


  • A young college student visiting an historical area featuring stone statues. She is looking over a stone railing.

    The Travelling World of Little Einsteins – College Student Edition

    Alice Li

    "We're going on a trip on our favorite rocket ship, soaring through the sky." - Little Einsteins

    Many college students today remember the animated series, Little Einsteins. In each episode, four children travel to different parts of the world in their personal rocket ship. College is a time when many students get their first taste of freedom, including traveling with friends for the first time without a chaperone. However, we cannot simply just up and go whenever and wherever we want. For starters, many of us do not have the resources or planning expertise that the Little Einsteins had. And, we most certainly don't have our own rocket to conveniently go places!

    But a little creativity and planning can make student travel more manageable. Here are four tips based on some of my experiences in travelling as a broke college student.

    1. Factor in transportation costs

    When it comes to travelling, two of the most important things to figure out upon determining a location are (1) how to get there and get around and (2) where to stay. Transportation adds up, especially if you plan to drive. You often need to not only pay for gas (think about the rising gas prices!) but also parking.

    Even if you plan to use public transportation, it is just as important to consider location as there are limitations to the time schedule for when bus or rail lines are running. For example, when I went to England, because the bus lines were not running at the time I needed to head out, I ended up walking around two miles just to get to the rail station while carrying all my luggage and carry-ons. Not fun, I tell you, but quite an experience anyway. Overall, if the distance between your housing and chosen visiting destinations are close, you can get to places faster and easier, thus maximizing the time you’ll have to explore.

    2. Consider where to stay and how to get around

    Book housing at least a few months in advance for cost savings. (Yay, price discrimination!) Airbnbs are great for medium-sized parties (3-10 people) and can help save money if your party is willing to cook at least a few meals, as dining out can be costly.

    Look into the safety of the area you are staying in and visiting, as well. Do your research ahead of time as to how to access public transportation and whether you need a certain app to ride the bus/train/etc.

    3. Plan ahead for places to go explore AND eat

    New place. I get it. You want to explore. But you’ll get exhausted if you have TOO much planned on your daily itinerary. Have no more than 3 activities/locations planned, depending on the length of each activity. You’re honestly better off giving yourself more time in one place than less. Also, having less planned allows you flexibility in your schedule. You may discover a place you didn’t really know about when you researched but are interested in, so leaving some room in your schedule gives you the opportunity to explore. Having some dining options in mind ahead of time can prevent frustration when you’re tired and hungry and not sure where to eat.

    4. Take note of any important regulations and customs, especially if you plan to go out of country

    Did you know that chewing gum in Singapore is illegal? Singapore values keeping their city clean and thus has a lot of different fines and regulations. Check out regulations and customs in your destination ahead of time. The last thing you want is to visit another country and suddenly find yourself in trouble with the law enforcement agency.

    Travelling can be stressful and even tiring but it is also very rewarding. So, if you want to go on a trip in the near future, what better time than now to begin planning and thinking about it? Even without the Little Einsteins’ resources, college student travel is within your reach!

    Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog?  If you are a college student and interested in writing for us – click here to pitch your idea and get started! 

  • A picture of a city

    Expand Your Horizons through Study Abroad

    Emilee Foy

    Whether in high school or college, there are a lot of benefits that come from traveling to a foreign country to study. Three big things that I learned in high school from studying abroad were observing the differences in cultures, adapting to living in a new place, and learning through new experiences. I studied in Cadiz, Spain before my senior year of high school and am studying abroad in Innsbruck this summer. Therefore, hopefully what I have learned from this experience will give other students a realistic feel of what it is like.

    The Culture

    One of the big things I learned while in Spain was the differences between the United States’ culture and Spain’s culture. Not only was the language a difference, but the way the people in Spain dressed was much different than the way Americans did. In addition, the house mom I lived with had very strict dining rules and ate very quickly which was much different than I was used to. Many people in the city of Cadiz did not have cars and relied on walking or public transportation. It was beneficial for me to adapt to their customs and understand that different countries have different ways of life. It allowed me to see the differences among cultures which gave me a broader outlook.

    New Environment

    While it was definitely a culture shock, I had to adapt to the environment in order to gain the most from the experience. After overcoming jetlag due to the time change, I slowly became more and more familiar with to my new surroundings. Embracing the day-to-day experience of living in a different country helped me to understand their unique customs and helped me to get the most out of the trip.

    Unique Experiences

    The most important aspect to a study abroad trip is to enjoy exposure to new experiences. I was able to take salsa lessons, surfing lessons, and a cooking class to learn how to make paella. We also visited outdoor markets with tents that sold locally made handbags, clothing, and other things. This was interesting to see what vendors could make and how they bargained with their customers for the products. These things were activities that people in this country did daily, so it was a unique feeling to be a part of things that were so different than where I am from.

    It is a profound experience to see different landmarks and meet new people outside of one’s own country. Any student who has the opportunity to study abroad should seize their chance in order to expand their knowledge.

    Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog?  If you are a college student and interested in writing for us - click here to pitch your idea and get started! 

  • A sunny day in Norway looking out over a blue lake with a beach area, dock, and sail boats. There are shrubs with pink flowers in the forefront.

    The World is Calling, and I Must Go

    Olivia Kane

    A College Student's Guide to Study Abroad, Internships Abroad, and COVID-19

    It is no secret that many college students and recent graduates have had their fair share of plans derailed or cancelled due to the presence of COVID-19. One common experience that many had to put on hold is study abroad, which traditionally has been a wonderful way for students to not only fulfill college credits but to immerse themselves into a culture unfamiliar to their own and learn by doing, rather than by sitting in a classroom.

    I am one of those students who had a 2020 study abroad trip derailed. I was scheduled to study accounting in Dublin and Galway, Ireland for that summer. Ireland is an incredibly academically aesthetic place, with many universities covered in ivy-bricked walls and filled with friendly peers. When I booked my plane ticket in early February, my dad and I briefly debated whether I should purchase trip insurance, ultimately deciding against it. A little over a month later, I realized what a mistake I had made. Not only was my Summer 2020 abroad cancelled, but my Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 options were wiped out, too. I was heartbroken. My experience is not a one-in-a-million. It is a collective opinion of loss and frustration at the thought of what could have been.

    Good news. With vaccination rates exponentially increasing, the presence of masks, trip-insurance, and soon-to-be open borders, the option to study abroad is just around the corner. Many U.S. college students are ready to take the leap to study in a foreign country, even though uncertainty still looms.

    So how can students better prepare to study abroad in light of COVID-19?

    Buy the trip insurance

    While it may be a hassle or a financial pain to purchase trip insurance, it is recommended to not only purchase it for airline travels, but any hotel or Airbnb booking, any excursions, and more. Basically, if a website offers trip insurance, it is for a reason. You may lose a couple dollars paying for the insurance, but it is better than losing hundreds, if not thousands. Also, it is recommended for international and domestic travel to book refundable tickets, trips, and housing. The more knowledgeable you are about cancellation policies and refund options, the better prepared you will be to enjoy your trip with no surprises.

    Check your destination country’s COVID-19 news

    Not only is it important to purchase insurance, but it is also important to research the country in which you plan to travel to and study. Find the site where your destination country’s official COVID-19 travel advisories are updated. Start by referencing the U.S. State Department’s list. Look for information on the country’s border status (open or closed) and their criteria for entering the country. Next, look at the country’s trend of opening and closing its borders. If the country has continually gone into lockdown and closed its borders, there is a chance it will close its borders again before you arrive, taking your money, security deposits, and everything you spent along with it. Moral of the story, research is your best friend. The more you know, the more peace of mind you will have!

    Check for Visa requirements

    So, you booked your trip, bought trip insurance, and did your research on your future home-away-from-home. What next? Well, most individuals who have lived abroad agree that the hardest part about studying or working abroad is obtaining a Visa or whichever pass is necessary for your chosen country. Typically, obtaining a Visa is a drawn out and stressful process. Do not procrastinate this process as obtaining a Visa will likely require a visit to the country’s embassy which may even require an additional plane ticket. The faster you can arrange a Visa, the less stress you will endure and the more money you will save!

    Seek authentic tourism advice

    Immersing yourself into the culture is a large part of the true experience abroad; however, it is important to not just follow popular tourist destination websites. Consider networking and reaching out to old friends who have spent time in the country. They can give you a first-hand break-down on the country’s customs and ‘norms’ that a tourism site cannot. They can provide insights on where to stay, where to avoid, must-sees, must-dos, where to eat, where to not eat, and even simple mannerisms that are acceptable in the country!

    I know this process is long; trust me, I have been there. But when your chosen country opens and you ‘check all the boxes’, you are going to have an amazing time and will remember your trip for the rest of your life. Despite new variants of COVID-19, do not lose hope; many countries rely on tourism for a large source of income. They want you to visit just as much as you do.

    Trust the process and enjoy your time!

    Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog?  If you are a college student and interested in writing for us – click here to pitch your idea and get started! 

  • An ornate ceiling of a cathedral in Rome, Italy.

    Study Abroad – Post-COVID Edition

    Kiara Lozano

    Now that travelling restrictions are beginning to loosen, it’s time to start thinking about studying abroad again. Travelling post-COVID brings many new challenges that haven’t presented themselves before. However, do not let it set you back - you might be surprised at the amazing opportunities they can actually create. I know that with proper planning you will be ready to take on the world this year!

    Pre-departure Preparations

    In addition to getting your passport, packing, and booking your flight, one of the biggest factors that you need to consider when studying abroad are the health laws and regulations of your host country along with any additional travelling requirement that might be needed upon entry. As the world continues to open up, many places may still require the use of masks in public areas, require proof of vaccination upon entry, or have other key considerations you need to be aware of. Communicating with your study abroad advisor and host country programmer ahead of time is essential for making sure you have all of your documentation and are prepared prior to your departure. For any additional concerns upon arrival, I recommend checking the CDC and US Embassy websites consistently for all of the latest updates relating to your host country.

    Setting Expectations

    My biggest piece of advice – expect the unexpected. During these unprecedented times it is important to consider that your study abroad experience might not look the same as you originally thought and that is okay!!! Instead consider it a chance to be spontaneous, embrace the unknown, and learn more about yourself during the process. When I studied abroad in Italy this past summer, my best experiences where those that were unplanned and unsought after. This was a huge breakaway for me as I tend to be an avid planner. But with COVID restrictions consistently changing throughout my stay, I could never be prepared – no matter how hard I tried. However, this allowed me to go into the experience without any expectations and enjoy the moment just as it presented itself. Not setting expectations truly makes your experience abroad.

    Immersing Yourself in the Culture

    As cliché as it sounds, do as the locals do! There is no better way to experience a new country than by immersing yourself in the culture and exploring the city the way the locals do. During my experience abroad, most of Europe was closed down to tourist and cross-country travelling wasn’t easily accessible or encouraged. This meant that I spent a lot of my time in Rome where I was based. At first this was discouraging, not because Rome isn’t amazing (it is!) but because I felt like I wanted to visit as many places as possible during my time abroad. However, I quickly realized that not being able to travel outside the country I was residing in was in fact the best opportunity. I was able to experience Rome with a more local perspective and made many Italian friends along the way. I strongly encourage you to look at study abroad from a more local approach and take the opportunity to welcome new experiences.

    Embracing Change

    Lastly, be open minded and eager to embrace change. This experience will bring many amazing opportunities, but it will also present challenges along the way. It is completely normal to feel homesick or experience culture shock – especially if it is your first time abroad. However, it is important to remember that it is all part of the learning experience and differences should be celebrated. Keeping a positive attitude and having a strong support group, whether it be friends or advisors, will help you overcome these bumps in the road and allow you to enjoy your study abroad experience to the fullest.

    Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog? If you are a college student and interested in writing for us – click here to pitch your idea and get started!

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    London Calling: 3 ways to elevate your study abroad experience

    Deborah Salami

    In the summer of 2019, I made the exciting decision to live my dream of exploring London and decided to study abroad at the University of Westminster. During the process leading up to my travel, I had help from my university’s study abroad office, CEA Study Abroad advisors, and encouragement from my family. Before embarking on my journey, I reminded myself, in the words of George Washington Carver, “Education is the key to unlock the golden doors of freedom.” I love this quote because I believe education can take me anywhere across the globe as long as I desire it. During my time in London, I took advantage of various opportunities presented to me. I wanted to share my experience and provide some tips for encouraging any students looking to study abroad.