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Stacia Datskovska “hated every aspect” of her semester abroad in Florence, Italy. The journalism and international relations major at New York University was required to study abroad as part of her degree.
She selected the city of Florence in Italy for her time overseas. However, she wrote in an article for Insider that she found local Italians “rude and hostile” and came to “despise the sights”.
Stacia lived on the Via dei Tosinghi, a central location close to the city’s famous Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, built in the 1900s and known for its red-tiled dome. She shared the space with seven other girls, which was only the start of Stacia’s problems. The student was unhappy with the other young women staying out “until the wee hours”.
She criticised them for travelling on the weekends to other European cities, stating she preferred to stay in “to learn more about myself and explore ways to shape my life after graduation.”
The student didn’t reserve her ire for her flatmates alone. The Italian people also fell short of her expectations. Stacia wrote: “I’m not quite sure whom I resented more during my stay in Italy: my American classmates or the locals.”
Stacia claimed she encountered examples of Italians being “hostile, inconsiderate, and preposterous.” She experience verbal confrontations and so decided to “protest” by wearing clothes she “knew they’d hate” like trainers and hoodies.
Stacia felt her semester abroad put her life in New York on hold, and that she was “wasting precious time” when she would have been taking internships and networking.
One Twitter user mocked the piece in a tweet that has been viewed over half a million times at the time of writing. Sabina Ciofu wrote: “Finding out Florence is not New York and Europeans are not Americans must have been brutal.”
Another said: “Being an exchange student is lonely and foreign countries are not as glamorous when you live in them? These revelations seem definitely worth an article.”
“I guess she failed her term abroad,” one wrote, while another remarked: “Woman will go far in her international relations career.”
One Twitter user, Jon, wrote: “Oh no, stuck in one of the most beautiful cities in Europe for a few months. Poor woman.
“I’ve always found the locals there to be warm and welcoming. We went to an Opera one night and some of the audience invited us out for a few drinks afterward, they were great.”
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But some defended the woman. One, called Jamie, wrote: “Alright but let’s go easy; she’s very young and most of us are too old to be dog-piling a twenty-something grad student who hated her flatmates and had a miserable time in a beautiful city.”
One Jonathan Hopkin wrote: “Surely can’t be real. Although Florentines are notoriously rude, and not just to Americans.”
While not everyone may enjoy their semester abroad, there is some evidence they can be helpful when it comes to careers. A 50-year-long study from IES Abroad surveyed 1,205 IES Abroad alumni who studied abroad with the program.
Its study found: “IES Abroad alumni earn an average of $6,000 more in starting salaries (compared to recent U.S. college graduates from the National Career Outcomes Report).”
The report also stated: “Ninty percent of IES Abroad alumni continuing on to graduate school earned admission into their 1st or 2nd choice graduate or professional school.”
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