Q&A with Sophie Switzer of CIMBA Italy: Tips for Students Planning to Study Abroad

study abroad

CIMBA Italy offers insight on the importance of study abroad, with accreditation from Tipple College of Business at the University of Iowa. Their program offers english language coursework for American students on their campus in Paderno del Grappa, Italy. The courses focus on business, leadership, communications, and engineering with an emphasis on personal development. During the study abroad program, CIMBA Italy offers extended travel weekends and weeks for all students, encouraging students to travel whenever possible. Here are the Q&A’s from the chat with them:

Q1 Can you give us three reasons why students should study abroad? #CampusChat

A1 Reach outside your comfort zone! #studyabroad promotes self-confidence and personal growth #CampusChat

A1 For a little tongue-in-cheek, check out “5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Study Abroad” from @pisoniK #CampusChat http://cimbaitaly.com/kpisoni/shouldnt-study-abroad/

A1 Challenge yourself! Problem-solving in a new country & diff language provides the ultimate challenge http://cimbaitaly.com/jfaflick/challenging/ #CampusChat


Q2 What type of questions should students ask when researching a study abroad program? #CampusChat

A2 Ask about financial aid options. Many schools allow students to use grants, loans, & scholarships to #studyabroad. #CampusChat

A2 Find out what’s included in the tuition fee. Some programs do not factor in room & board or meal plans #CampusChat

A2 Ask about amenities provided before you arrive. WiFi & A/C are not as common in other regions http://cimbaitaly.com/kviehmann/5-things-dont-tell-study-abroad/ #CampusChat


Q3 Do students really studyabroad, or is it more of an international travel experience? #CampusChat

A3 Depends on the program, but be sure to talk to your advisor & make sure credits will transfer BEFORE you go abroad #CampusChat

A3 @ohmyfudgee blogs about How to Balance Study & Travel during #studyabroad #CampusChat

A3 #studyabroad expands learning beyond the classroom but make sure your program doesn’t cause you to fall behind in your degree #CampusChat


Q4 How long before leaving should a student begin planning for a study abroad session? #CampusChat

A4 Talk to your advisor about creating a semester plan that includes #studyabroad as soon as you arrive at college #CampusChat

A4 Meet with the financial aid office at least 1 yr before you leave, especially if you’re doing a winter or summer program #CampusChat

A4 Check with the #studyabroad office 1yr before to review all the steps – some schools require applications a year+ in advance! #campuschat


Q5 What tasks will students need to complete before leaving to study abroad? #CampusChat

A5 Create goals. These should include places you want to go, things you want to see, & what you want to achieve while abroad #CampusChat

A5 Notify your bank & make sure you will be able to use your debit/credit card while abroad. Avoid foreign transaction fees #CampusChat

A5 Make sure your passport is up-to-date & you have a visa (if needed). Passports must be valid for 6 months after your return date


Q6 What are some wise packing tips you can recommend for traveling abroad? #CampusChat

A6 Lay out everything you want to talk with you first & then cut that in half #CampusChat

A6 Pack light! You can buy shampoo & do laundry when you arrive http://cimbaitaly.com/kpisoni/cant-take/ #CampusChat

A6 Check the typical temp/weather before you leave – How to Pack for a Summer in #Italy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGC-hcB6K5A #CampusChat


Q7 What type of luggage should a student bring with them? #CampusChat

A7 Don’t bring more than a single suitcase & a backpack (for #travel) #CampusChat

A7 Don’t forget to leave room for souvenirs! You can always purchase a shirt or sweater overseas if you need it #CampusChat

A7 Ask if your #studyabroad program provides pillows/linens. You may need to bring some or purchase them abroad #CampusChat


Q8 What do your students say they learned when studying abroad in Italy? #CampusChat

A8 Leadership skills – “IQ, EQ, & What I Really Brought Back from #Italy” http://cimbaitaly.com/mdraudt/iq-eq-and-what-i-really-brought-back-from-italy/ #CampusChat

A8 Attitude is everything – “5 Principles to Live by When Traveling Abroad” http://cimbaitaly.com/kganoung/5-principles-live-traveling-abroad-reflections-wannabe-rick-steves/ #CampusChat

A8 Everything is a learning experience http://cimbaitaly.com/eniedert/lessons/ #CampusChat


Q9 Can you give us some tips on how to make the most of a study abroad experience? #CampusChat

A9 Be aware of cultural differences before you go and embrace them http://cimbaitaly.com/kganoung/study-abroad-lesson-1-do-as-the-italians-do/ #CampusChat

A9 Making mistakes, missing your train, & getting lost are part of the experience http://cimbaitaly.com/kmswanson/last-not-least-lessons-learned-trip-greece/ #CampusChat

A9 Interact with the culture, don’t just photograph it http://cimbaitaly.com/kpisoni/make-traveling-weekends/ #CampusChat

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