Katherine Rouskas

Even though I had been excited to study abroad since I started at JMU, I found myself feeling extremely nervous when I arrived at the airport in Italy. I had no idea what to expect, if I would meet people, or if I would be able to document a great story. When we arrived in Urbino I was instantly captivated by the unique beauty of the city, and I realized that even though I was uncertain about what my time here would look like, I was about to have a great adventure. I quickly fell in love with the city of Urbino, the old cobblestone streets, the food (especially crescia and gelato), the stunning views of the Italian country, and the overall lifestyle and culture here. Sitting in the piazza and just enjoying the people and always lively atmosphere became one of my favorite activities. I have been lucky enough to make some amazing Italian friends and friends within the program, travel to Venice and Sirolo, and even got to learn how to make authentic Italian gelato for my documentary! Besides getting to learn so much about a new culture, new people, and many useful photography and filmmaking skills, I also learned so much about myself. I learned that I could step out of my comfort zone and that I can create stories and connections that matter. I am forever grateful for the people I have met here and learned from, everyone who helped me get here, and the absolutely unforgettable experience I had here in Urbino. I hope to be back someday!

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