Goodbye Hamden, hello brand new world

By on March 2, 2005

It is well into the spring semester at QU and everyone has settled into the routine of classes and extracurricular activities.

We all pretty much know where to go when we need something: Stop & Shop for groceries, Applebee’s for dining out and Toad’s for dancing on Saturday nights. But can you imagine what it must be like to be in a foreign country and have to re-learn all of these things that we at Quinnipiac take for granted?

Studying abroad is a very popular way for students to go out and experience the world and its various cultures while still earning college credits. But how are students finding life outside the U.S.?

Meredith Roberts, a junior public relations major, is spending the semester in London and says things are very different than in the states.

Here at Quinnipiac it is easy to figure out where to hang out. Everyone knows about Toad’s or Side Street and many other bars and clubs in New Haven and Hamden, but when abroad students have to find all new hangouts.

Michelle Clemente, a junior communications major is spending her semester in Florence, Italy, and says the night life is very different there.

“It’s not like home at all, people go out a lot later over here, like at midnight, which is strange because back home the bars and clubs close at 1:30 or 2 [a.m.] so people tend to go out earlier,” Clemente said. “There’s no bowling allies, the movie theaters are mostly Italian movies, and there’s no 24-hour diners. Mostly we go bar-hopping, but a lot of the time the men at the bars are a lot older, like mid-30s and 40s so it can be creepy,” Clemente said.

Being abroad students have an opportunity to travel to many different places.

“This upcoming weekend I am going to Brussels with some of my roommates,” Roberts said. “The best part is since going from country to country in Europe is like going state to state in the US, a four day weekend including train fare from London to Brussels, and 3 nights in a hotel is only going to cost $310.”

But the students are still there to learn. “The professors all speak English, but some just barely. Most classes, with the exception of Italian, are once a week for two and a half hours and the students are from all over the United States, many in the same abroad program,” Clemente said. “I am really glad I am talking Italian because while many people here speak English sometimes it is hard to communicate.”

“I am so glad I came,” Roberts said. “I have met some really amazing people and am doing and seeing things I never thought I would be able to, I would definitely encourage others to go abroad.”

So if you are getting bored with Connecticut and sick of the snow, just remember it about 50 degrees in Florence and it does not snow but rains in London.


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