Introducing Me & Preparing to Study Abroad!

Written by ceciliapatramanis May 9, 2023

Hi! My name is Ceely Patramanis, and I wanted to start off by briefly introducing myself. I am going into my third year at the University of Iowa as a Marketing and Management major. Some of my hobbies include hanging out with friends, reading, cooking, and traveling. I wanted to share why I decided to study abroad with CIMBA and some of the expectations I have for this experience prior to my departure.

I have always known that I wanted to study abroad because I have always loved traveling. However, as I have gotten older, I have a strong appreciation for experiencing new cultures and understanding people’s differences. I feel that there is no better way to learn and experience these things than studying abroad and fully immersing myself in a new culture…for a month. That leads me to why I decided to apply for CIMBA’s summer program specifically.

After my first year in undergrad at the University of Iowa, I felt that I had truly found a happy place with this campus and I wanted to cherish every semester I have here. However, I did not want that to prevent me from taking time to study abroad, so when I found out about this summer option I was eager to apply. I loved the idea of having a piece of my college, the Tippie College of Business, with me as I was abroad because there is a sense of comfort in that. I am very excited to see the campus in Paderno del Grappa and call it my home for the short time that I am there.

I have had the privilege of going abroad numerous times before, but I am expecting this experience to be very different from my trip to Italy in 2017. Regarding my expectations, I am expecting to have a new appreciation for mealtimes, as they are very different from in the United States. I know based on prior experience and knowledge that meals are much more conversational and are built around socializing with friends and/or family. So, I am really looking forward to taking that time to relax and spend time with great company while eating great food. I want to learn more about the origins of dishes because I think it is interesting to understand how certain places within the same country can differ even if it is just based on food.

Following that, I have very different expectations for travel while I am abroad. I have heard that it is a very different experience, and I am looking forward to taking small weekend trips that will allow me to experience new cultures. There tends to be a dangerous and unnerving stigma behind public transportation while traveling, but I want to gain that sense of confidence in myself that comes with traveling at a young age. I am glad that I will be traveling with friends, but it will definitely be an adjustment for me because I have never traveled without my family before. Overall, I have a mix of nerves and excitement for this experience, but I am remaining calm and confident because the CIMBA staff have already provided us with guidance and resources.

Regarding the classwork, I am taking two courses, Italy Live and International Marketing. I am looking forward to both classes and cannot wait to see the differences in education while abroad. I’m excited to meet new people, have a new appreciation for the Italian culture, and experience a change of scenery. As a Marketing major, I am ecstatic to have the opportunity to take International Marketing while abroad. It seems to just make sense for this course, so I am looking forward to getting a more authentic side with real life examples of marketing internationally.

Although studying abroad sounds daunting, I would highly recommend checking it out. I feel very prepared for my time there and that is all thanks to the amazing staff that has assisted us in getting everything ready for departure. Even though I have not left yet, I know that this trip is going to be a once in a life time experience full of authentic culture and opportunities to meet new people.