How to Make the Most of Your CIMBA Experience

Written by Megan April 22, 2015

Friends in Athens

The Gang in Bolzano

Patrick, Bridgette, Austin and I in Lisbon

Patrick, Austin and I in Roma!

Pizza making at an event with a professor

Hayden, Patrick, Bridgette and I in Croatia

Friends in Cinque Terre

My table at the first gourmet dinner

It’s almost the start of my final week in the CIMBA program as I am making my way back from Switzerland. That being said, I simply cannot believe how quickly the semester has flown by. I knew when I came over to Italy that the time here would go by in the blink of an eye but I didn’t quite realize it until now. At this point, with the last gourmet dinner, final exams and my last days in Italy approaching there isn’t much I wouldn’t do to have just one more week to spend here with my friends in the beautiful country. But unfortunately, time is quickly coming to an end! So what did I do and what can you do to make the most of the semester?

1. Take advantage of every opportunity to travel. You might get to the end of the semester and wish you would have gone to one more place that weekend you decided to stay back in Paderno, but it is impossible to feel that regret if you take advantage of every weekend. I have visited a new place every weekend since I arrived in Europe and I have loved every single second of it. This is time that we will never get back, so why not do as much as possible? I might be the most exhausted I have ever been, but I can sleep when I am back in the States! There is so much out there to see and this is the perfect time to do it. So, get out and go. You will not regret it!

2. Get to know your professors. In my experience, the professors at CIMBA are unlike any the ones at most schools in the United States. CIMBA is a much closer environment than most of us are used to which is another thing that makes it such a unique program. The first week I was here, my economics professor took Charlie and me up to hike Monte Grappa and taught us all we needed to know in order to survive our first few weeks here. The evening before he offered to give us a ride up to the grocery store in his free time. How many professors do you know that would do that? It doesn’t stop there though. He also offered to take anyone who wanted to go to dinner on Monday and Thursday nights to any of the local restaurants, which was an awesome break from the cafeteria food. Not only was Professor Kline (econ) helpful in his spare time, so was our finance professor! In the first few weeks, Patrick and I got to go out to dinner and gelato in Asolo with him and his wife, his treat! Not only are they very generous with their spare time, the CIMBA professors are often times some of the best resources for travel information. Many of them have taught in Paderno many times, so be sure to pick their brains on travel in Europe and the general area nearby.

3. That being said, get to know the area around campus! It is so easy to hop on a bus to Bassano, Castelfranco, or Fonte to get dinner and explore the town for the afternoon. You don’t have to travel far to see and experience new things. A lot of the times we forget that some of the coolest little towns are right there in Paderno’s back yard! I would recommend doing thing this at least once or twice every couple weeks because in reality there is so much to see, yet so little time! Looking back on my semester and talking with some of my friends this is certainly something we wish we did more of and let’s be honest, there is no such thing as too much pizza!

4. Sleep when you can. A lot of your travel time will be spent catching a bus, plane, train or taxi and surprisingly enough I got very good at catching some “z’s” as well. This is another way to make the most of your time. Traveling is exhausting and those extra few hours, minutes, or even seconds count. This will allow you to have more energy to hit the ground running when you arrive. You will be able to enjoy a bit more of every destination on your travels with a bit more zest! For those of you who have a hard time sleeping in the car now, you will be surprised at how easy it will become.

5. I’m sure a ton of people will tell you this, but it is key to making the most of your time abroad; become an expert at managing your time! You are going to want to travel, hangout at the sports cafe, and chill with all the other amazing Cimbians but the academics of this program will be equally as demanding. The more creative you are with managing your time and during the days, the more you will be able to relax later while keeping up your grades. Which of course will keep you AND your mom happy.

At CIMBA we have a “work hard, play hard” kind of mentality and if you keep in mind these few tips you are sure to have an amazing semester (or summer!) abroad. I certainly know I have. It makes me sad to think will be leaving these picture perfect place shortly. But of course, not without taking with me all of the phenomenal friends and memories I have made. Next time you will be hearing from me, I am sure I will be back in the States wishing I was back in Italy!

Ciao for now!