Italy Study Abroad Story: Jordan Dawkins

Honors student, Jordan Dawkins, utilized the Honors Funded Travel Scholarship to study abroad in Italy this summer. Below is a reflection of Jordan’s experience as well as some of her favorite photos from the trip. Thank you for sharing!

“One of the reasons I wanted to study abroad is because I love learning about other cultures. Going to Italy definitely helped me learn about Italian and European culture and allowed me to gain a better understanding of other people. For example, I know that sometimes Europeans can seem mean and unapproachable, but my study abroad experience taught me that this is not true for everyone. It is not a social custom for them to greet others on the street or say ‘Excuse me’ as they try to get through a crowd. We see this as rude; they see our way as unnecessary.

I really enjoyed seeing so much history on the trip! It seems like you only hear about the Colosseum or how Venice will one day be under water, but it was so exciting to see these things with my own eyes! Our professors taught us a lot about Italian history that we would have never learned otherwise. We saw such beautiful artwork from so many eras and artists and saw how the time influences everything else. I also learned more about Catholicism. I’ve been a Christian since I was 15 and I do not agree with many Catholic practices, but being in the birthplace of that religion gave me some new information and perspective that I could not have expected.

I also learned more about what Americans view as ‘standard’ in various situations. I didn’t know that hotels don’t always provide complementary towels, public bathrooms are rarely free, how rigid our driving laws are comparatively, or that most restaurants only bring a bill for the table instead of asking to split it up for each individual. I realize that I take for granted more than I thought, and I am grateful to live in the USA.

This trip was really a dream come true for me as I have been trying to go on since I was a freshman. Thank you for providing funds that made it possible for me to realize this dream before I graduated!!”