Let the Traveling Begin!

Written by mackenziedyer May 9, 2023

Ciao!! My name is Mackenzie Dyer and I just finished my sophomore year at the University of Arkansas. I am a Marketing Major with Minors in Supply Chain and Entrepreneurship. Studying abroad in college has always been a dream of mine, so I am so excited to share my journey abroad with all of you. In this first post, I wanted to share why I chose CIMBA and provide some details on my pre-departure.

Studying abroad can be a very overwhelming feeling at times. You have to consider where you want to study, how long you want to be there, and also ensure you are receiving credits for the courses you will be taking. When I first started looking into studying abroad, I didn’t exactly know where to start, but I did have a few friends that had been before. A group of my friends attended the CIMBA Italy summer program in 2020 and they had so many good things to say about it. Hearing stories about their experience quickly made me realize how much I wanted to be a part of something like that as well. I decided this summer after my sophomore year would be a perfect time to participate in studying abroad. While I am not there yet, I could not be more excited about the things ahead of me!

One thing that was very important to me when looking for an abroad program was making sure that the courses offered count towards my degree. Since I am a marketing major, CIMBA was a great choice because it offers multiple classes that count toward business majors. CIMBA allows students to take two courses during the summer, which gives them 6 credit hours. Trying to figure out what classes I wanted to take was a hard decision, but with help from past CIMBA students, I was able to narrow it down to the two classes I thought would be most beneficial to me. I will be taking The Global Consumer and Storytelling in Marketing.

Location and time are also factors I considered before making a final decision. The CIMBA summer program is 4 weeks long and allows time on the weekends for students to travel. This was perfect because I didn’t want to be away for an entire semester, but I knew I wanted to be gone long enough to feel like I was still getting the full experience. Traveling to Europe has always been a bucket list item of mine, so I was very excited to find out the campus was located in Italy. Europe is filled with so many amazing places to see and things to do, and 4 weeks is the perfect amount of time to explore. While I am not in Italy yet, I have already begun looking into traveling spots and started booking my Airbnb. I am super excited to travel to places like Venice, Florence, Cinque Terre, and hopefully Paris!

The one-week countdown to Italy is finally here and I have spent most of my week preparing everything I will need while abroad. As many people can probably relate, I’m guilty of being an over-packer… As silly as it is, when I first looked into studying abroad my first thought was “How am I going to pack an entire month of clothes into a single suitcase?” It didn’t seem manageable at the time, but I’m here to tell you it is possible! Even though I’m an over-packer, I always manage to somehow forget something. Whether it’s as little as a toothbrush, or something important as a second pair of shoes it still happens. One of my biggest tips to avoid this issue is to create a packing list. I created a custom packing list which was a huge help in saving space and also eliminating some of the pre-departure stress. I can’t wait to be on campus and I’m looking forward to sharing the rest of my journey with you all!