Italy recently announced that they will no longer require students studying abroad there to show proof of vaccination as of March 1. This had been a major hindrance on the study abroad program in earlier semesters for it was severely impaired when trying to eat out, travel, or stay at hotels. 

The study abroad program has been an amazing opportunity for years for Benedictine students to experience cultures outside of their home country and to learn and grow in new ways. Many were disheartened by the restrictions put in place due to the Coronavirus and those who did go were heavily restricted. 

Hannah Alcorn, junior, talked about her experience studying abroad in Italy during the spring semester in 2021 and the uncertainty she faced during it. 

“We didn’t really know if we would be able to go to Rome, if we’d be able to go to Sienna, because those trips that are usually in the study abroad program. We weren’t sure if we would legally be allowed to do those.” Alcorn said. 

Students were allowed to explore Florence and local areas, but any travel even to neighboring towns and cities was heavily restricted. Alcorn talked about how some of the streets would even be closed. 

“They had to keep shutting down like certain roads and like certain squares, because that’s where like all the young people would go hang out and gather.” Hannah said. 

With the new ordinance in Italy, students now can freely stay at hotels, explore museums, and dine at restaurants without needing to show proof of vaccination.  This will allow the experience to feel much more natural and immersive. 

Director of Study Abroad Dr. Daniel Musso talked about the importance of being able to study abroad. 

“It’s a way in which you go out of your bubble, find and discover new things that are out there.” Musso said. “It also helps you become more aware of your own culture because if you see someone acting differently, so you question what you are doing so you become more aware of your own culture.” 

If you are interested in studying abroad contact Dr. Daniel Musso at dmusso@benedictine.edu.