The Whirlwind of Studying Abroad

Written by Hayley March 26, 2019

I’ve decided that this is a good time to dig deeper into some of the unexpected CIMBA days and travel experiences that I have encountered during the program. A journey is not complete without some stories of chaos and minor mishaps. 

No Routine

You would think at this point in the semester I would have the hang of things, and I would have a daily routine. Honestly, each week is flying as a result of long academic days and busy travel weekends. While the class structure remains the same for the most part, the weekly schedule constantly changes due to the various activities CIMBA provides including the gourmet dinner, class field trips, company tours, Italian holidays, and random meetings. One of these occasions have occurred almost each week so nothing has felt mundane or routine here on campus.

Some days I wish I had a set schedule, but for the most part, I enjoy the ambiguity in each week. I look forward to the upcoming activities because they typically involve fun and new experiences!

Settled In

I can confidently say I am settled into CIMBA and the campus is considered “home” after long weekends. I love coming home from a long and eventful weekend to a warm meal and clean bedroom. The beds are comfortable, the temperature is pleasant, and the cleaning ladies keep the room and facilities tidy.


I have definitely experienced some minor mishaps during my time here in Italy. The Paderno del Grappa ATM ate my debit card and didn’t return it while I was using the machine. This situation sent me into a slight panic, but low and behold 2 hours later (after the lunch break), the bank returned my card.

  • PRO TIP- Italian ATMs are on a timer, so my card was held inside the machine for security purposes. I am now prompt in my button clicking when I use the ATM.

Later that week, after the debit card fiasco, I dropped my phone on the tile bathroom floor at CIMBA 2 hours before I was supposed to travel to Florence.

  • NOTE- The Apple store in Florence cannot repair American iPhones in the store, and they do not sell iPhones in the store. One must order the phone and pick it up in Florence when it arrives usually 7 days later.

Therefore, I am now using an LG K9 burner phone that I purchased for $90.00 at Vodaphone (an Italian service provider). I am really missing my iPhone, but thankfully, I brought my Canon camera along.

I have really kept a positive and humorous outlook on this whole phone situation. It is honestly ridiculous how reliant society is on cellphones, me included. Though, it is definitely a necessity for staying safe and in touch with friends and family while abroad. In reality, the main feature I am missing is the camera!

Among many things, this program has definitely taught me to be more adaptable and receptive to change. I would say I am more able to “go with the flow” after all the traveling, activities, and minor setbacks I have experienced on this trip. I am in Italy having an experience of a lifetime, so those minor mishaps and unknown schedules are adding to this unique journey!