Isaiah Mason

Class of 2022
Duke in Bologna

When I got to Duke I knew that I wanted to participate in Duke in Bologna because I wanted to study Italian when I got to college. In middle and high school I studied Latin, which gave me the opportunity to learn about Ancient Rome, but I really wanted to learn more about modern Italy, and to actually be able to visit Italy.

Going on this trip, I learned a lot about myself in terms of what my boundaries were, and sort of venturing outside of my comfort zone, because it was my first time outside of the country, and one of my first experiences being away from home.

It helped me reframe what I wanted to study at Duke. I came into Duke thinking that I was pre-med and was going to major in bio, but it really helped me shift my perspective towards global health, and looking at the connections between the United States and Italy, in terms of culture. That made me switch over to International Comparative Studies.

I would highly recommend looking into one of the summer programs if you don't feel as though you would be comfortable with a whole semester abroad. I felt like the six weeks was just enough for me to get acclimated to being in a different country. It gave me enough time to explore parts of Italy I always wanted to visit.


Sofia Labrecque-Nieves

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When in Italy...

"To say the least, Duke's program did not disappoint and even exceeded my imagination in unfathomable ways."

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Benvenuti in Italia!

"I realized how much I liked Italian culture on this trip, so I actually signed up for more Italian classes to fulfill an Italian major while I was studying in Bologna. Bologna is a decently tourist-free city, so I felt that I was really immersed in Italian culture."

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The "Real Italy"

"It sounds cliche, but being abroad is about opening yourself up to new experiences and living in the present moment. If the present moment has you sprinting through the Bologna Train Station to catch a last-minute train to Ferrara on a random Wednesday night, then you're doing something right."

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Back to Back: How I Studied Abroad Twice in the Same Summer

In the summer after her sophomore year at Duke, Tiffany de Guzman ('19) did two Duke-In summer programs: Duke in Bologna and Duke in Oxford. We asked her to share what motivated her to tackle four credits in one summer and what advice she has for others considering doing the same.

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Rounding Out The Econ Degree

By Anna Kropf

Before I began my Italian studies at Duke, I might have (admittedly) been on the side of the liberal arts education debate that was confused why so many general education requirements were necessary for graduation. If I knew what I wanted to do, why would I need to take so many classes in other disciplines? But Duke in Bologna pushed me into the realm of “hopeless romantic” for the liberal arts education.

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A Typical Day Attending the Oldest University in Europe

By Sarah Perrin

Our classes were held in an architecturally and historically rich building that was once part of a monastery, then a penitentiary, until it was finally adopted into the fold of the oldest university in Europe, the University of Bologna.

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