Alexia Couture – A very unique story to tell everyoneRome Internships, Spring 2012

Studying abroad has been a wonderful experience full of new challenges that have taught me about myself and about a new culture.  However, my experience has been set apart from most others’ experiences.  I believe this is true because along with classes, the language, the new culture, and the new friends, I also had a new job.  My internship through IES gave my study abroad time something so unique and different. I have always been interested in the faults and assets of the education system in the U.S.  Once I heard about the opportunity to work in an Italian high school assisting teaching English, I was faced with a difficult decision.  Was I willing to give up more time while abroad in Rome?  When I decided to do it, I still wasn’t sure if I wanted to do it.  Now, I can say that it was one of my best decisions abroad. Working in the high school was very difficult but very rewarding.  My commute was 15 minutes on the metro.  I was paired with the loveliest lady who made my overall time in Rome so much better.  Cinzia, my prof in the high school, introduced me to her family and gave me so much guidance for my time at Rome.  The students were typical teenagers.  They were intrigued by me when I first got there but didn’t say much.  As the semester went on, I had obstacles.  There were a lot of morning where I would wake up at 7 am and really not want to go to work. My bed was so comfortable.  Then, I would muster up some energy and hurry to my internship.  Some days were more difficult than others.  Sometimes, Cinzia would leave me with the students for a long time.  I couldn’t control them.  I would get frustrated and discouraged sometimes.  Then, I would get in a conversation with just one student, and I would be okay again. Working in an Italian high school while abroad allowed me to get a unique experience.  It was unexpected and difficult but rewarding and well-worth it.  The internship may not be for everyone, but if someone wants to be closer with the Italian culture and learn more than any other study abroad student, he or she should get an internship.  It was such an amazing opportunity to see an almost private view of the culture.  And if anything, all of my friends and family from home were very impressed with me.  So even if I didn’t get something out of it, I did get a very unique story to tell everyone from home and connections with the Italian culture that I absolutely could not have gotten any other way.
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