The flight was long. Justin Corazza reaches for his carry-on luggage neatly tucked away in overhead storage, lets out a long yawn and joins the herd of travelers moseying down the airplane aisle. As he steps off the plane and into the foreign air circulating the Florence airport, Justin clutches his luggage a little closer, as they are the only pieces of home he will see for ten weeks.
“I got to [the Italy airport] earlier than my program started. I had to make my way by myself. I had no idea where anything was and my Italian was awful,” recalls the senior Sociology major.
Justin had wanted to venture outside of the U.S for quite some time and he knew that taking three classes at Florence University of the Arts would allow him to do just that. “I have always wanted to go abroad, and for my major it is very important to interact with people outside of your comfort zone. I had never been outside North America and I wanted to experience something new,“ says Justin.
During his stay from mid-May to mid-July, Justin took three classes: Renaissance Art, Galileo and the Scientific Renaissance, and Art and Architecture in Tuscany and Florence. And even though the TCNJ senior says he learned a great deal in each of these classes, he firmly believes that, “Outside the class is without a doubt where I learned the most.”
He learned the do’s and don’ts of the city, he learned that Europeans don’t really hate all Americans, and most importantly, he learned about himself. Justin had always known that he wanted to go on to grad school after TCNJ and earn his Masters in Anthropology, but being in Europe for an entire semester “solidified” his decision to focus his future studies on Europe.
As Justin plans on graduating this spring, he urges anyone considering going abroad to go for it, “It is a once in a lifetime experience and I would have regretted not doing it. It is worth it in every way and was one of the greatest experiences of my life.”