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Student Stories from Abroad

Maria Maffucci and friends

Name / Class Year:  Maria Maffucci, 2014

Where and when did you study abroad?  Rome, Italy; Spring 2013

What (if any) classes did you take while abroad that counted towards the English major?  I took an English elective, Italy in American/British Literature (ENG 378) with Dr. Milena Locatelli. My other classes fulfilled my Italian Studies minor and miscellaneous distribution requirements.

Why was your experience abroad important to you as an English major?  As an English major, I knew that the UK would be the more conventional study abroad route because of the literary figures that we studied at CUA. However, well before I began my four years in D.C., I knew that I wanted to have a study-abroad experience in Italy. I soon realized that many prominent British and American literary figures, such as Byron, Keats, P.B. Shelley, and Henry James used Italy – Rome in particular – as a major source of literary inspiration. A large part of being an English major comes from being inspired by your surroundings and I wanted to have the same sense of awakening as some of my favorite authors. Studying in Rome allowed me to reflect on what I studied in my literature courses and develop as a writer. I grew as a student in ways that I'm not sure I would have if I stayed in D.C.

Any advice/insights you'd offer to prospective or current English majors regarding study abroad?  If studying abroad is something that you know you will want to do, plan accordingly. Manage your time at CUA wisely and meet with (your advisor) in advance to discuss your options and arrange your tracking sheet appropriately. Immerse yourself as a native! Enjoy your time abroad and allow yourself to adopt the foreign culture as if it were your own.

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