Office of International Programs

Nicole LaPlante

Nicole Laplante
Universita degli Studi della Tuscia, Italy
Fall 2013

My four months of studying abroad has been the best time of my life so far. I lived in a small, old, and truly authentic Italian town. A lot of people didn’t speak any English, so coming in without knowing any Italian was a difficult challenge for me. I slowly picked up bits of the language in my Italian class and just walking along the streets, and soon learned enough to order food, buy things at the store, or explain something to my landlord.


Luckily, most of the Italian students at my university were studying languages so I was able to speak English with them. I had a language partner whom I met with from time to time to help her English and she my Italian. I made lots of other Italian friends who I will continue to stay in touch with.

One of the most rewarding experinces I had while abroad was volunteering at a local elementary school. Each week I came into my class of rowdy 4th graders with a game or lesson I made to help them learn English. I was so surprised with how much they already knew, as well as how well they were able to pick up the new vocabulary or phrases I taught them. They made my desire to learn new languages and develop relationships with people from other countries so much stronger.  


I was lucky enough to do some traveling both in and out of Italy while abroad. Within Italy, I went to the cities of Rome, Naples, Cinque Terre, Florence, Cortona, Pisa, Lucca, Siena, Pompeii, and Venice. Outside of Italy, I visited frineds studying in London and Copenhagen. I also went to Bacelona and Paris. I loved every new experience I had at all these cities. I am a more independent, culturally aware, accepting, and spontanious person since experiencing life in a different place. I cannot thank the Kaufman family and contributors to the scholarship enough for this amazing experience!