Why CIMBA? – How To Decide Where To Study Abroad

Written by Mallory February 1, 2017

The majority of CIMBA in Asolo at the Castle.

The first of many gelato pictures

My new friends and I in Asolo!

Me standing in front of the city entrance sign!

My first Italian pizza at the local pizzeria!

The first two weeks have come to an end and it already seems like I have been at CIMBA forever. I’m still learning how to order a sandwich at the local tabacchi (sandwich shop) and adjusting to the shops closing in the middle of the day for an extended lunch break. I also noticed the printer paper is longer and skinnier than the printer paper we use in America. I am having a lot of fun comparing and contrasting my life back in Boulder to my new life here!

While I still have yet to get an International SIM card, I have been able to keep in touch with my friends who are studying abroad in other parts of Europe through WIFI. Their experiences have already been so different from mine even though they aren’t that far away from me. Here is my clearly biased opinion on why CIMBA is the obvious choice when filtering through study abroad programs.

1. Relationships. From the very first moment I stepped off the plane in Venice, I was already surrounded by other CIMBIANS. We gathered near a bar (in Italy, they call a coffee shop a bar but it can also mean what we think of when we say bar so you have to look at the context for the accurate meaning) in the airport waiting on the arrival of a bus to take us to campus. Right off the bat I was already more comfortable being in Venice on my own since I was already meeting people and I had only been there 10 minutes. Ever since then, CIMBA has made it extremely easy to jump right in and make friends. All students attending CIMBA live in the same building on two floors, we eat in the same dining room, and we all attend classes together. I have started building relationships and I can already tell these people are going to become my lifelong friends and I can only thank CIMBA for that. 

2. Kepner-Tregoe Training. The first two weeks are a bit different than the rest of the semester. All of our schedules got switched around to fit in a couple different personal development training courses. CIMBA provides Kepner-Tregoe (KT) Training for all the students. Throughout this training, I learned how to better solve problems through a strategic decision making process that is applicable in any situations I face. It wasn’t until after I completed the training and it was all brought together that I fully understood the importance of having this skill.

3. LIFE. One thing differentiating CIMBA from other study abroad programs is LIFE (or the Leadership Initiative For Excellence) program. As someone who has been to what seems like a million different leadership training seminars, I can confidently say LIFE has changed my life! I don’t want to give away any of the surprises by telling you too much information but I will say I have learned so much about myself over the course of this program that I didn’t know before. LIFE is tied to the KT Training which is helpful because it further proves that what we are learning is valid and applicable.

4. Travel Orientation. One of the first days we were on campus, CIMBA held a travel orientation. This helped me learn the ropes of traveling and planning travel weekends. I was able to hear of past experiences, get advice on where I should and shouldn’t go, and the best ways to get around both Italy and Europe. CIMBA understands that while we are all here to study, we all also want to visit places we likely wouldn’t be able to go as easily. CIMBA and Max, the travel counselor on campus, are extremely helpful and are willing to go the extra mile in making the “abroad” part of study abroad exceptional.

5.Volunteering. CIMBA is located in Paderno del Grappa which is also home to the Istituti Filippin. This is a school accommodating all ages of Italian students. CIMBA has a strong relationship with the Istituti which allows our students the opportunity to volunteer. I will get to go to the classrooms and help the students learn English and they will help me learn Italian. I think this is a really unique part of CIMBA because during my class breaks I can meet Italian students and get a glimpse of what they experience as well as help them in their learning process.

This has already been such an amazing experience and I have only been here for two weeks so I am very excited to continue exploring the greater Paderno area as well as all of Europe.

Ciao for now!!