Christina Mercugliano – Rome, Italy

Studying abroad was an opportunity I hoped for long before I even began the college process. I had never been overseas and craved the opportunity to experience the rich culture and history that Europe had to offer. Since coming to college, I have found my pre-med lifestyle to be particularly rigorous. My science-packed s


Christina Mercugliano, Spring 2016


chedule has been very challenging, and I have often been jealous of my communications school friends, who seem to have the ability to enjoy more than the inside of the Arnold Bernard Library. It is therefore more important to me than ever that I have the opportunity to take a break from my science curriculum and immerse myself in the cultures of the world.

My identity as a member of a large Italian-American family has always had a large part in defining who I am. So much of what makes me, me is rooted in a culture thousands of miles away from home, one that I’ve never seen. It is for this reason that I decided to study abroad in Italy, and experience first hand the culture that is so important to my family members. My mom still has many cousins in Italy as well, whom I’ve never met but plan to do so during my time abroad.

I expect that my experience will be enriched by my growing understanding of traditional Rites of Passage theory. It will make my study abroad experience more mindful, and allow me to be more self-aware as I undergo this transformative life measure. As we discussed in class, this experience could potentially be nothing more than an enjoyable hiatus from Quinnipiac if I am not continuously aware of its power as a Rite of Passage.

Mark Twain wrote, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do that by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” This is particularly inspiring to me. I have a tendency to gravitate towards my comfort zone, but at the same time an awful fear of missing out on all the incredible things this life has to offer. While the prospect of studying abroad in Rome completely alone is terrifying to me, I would hate to miss out on an experience because I was immobilized by fear. I am excited to take the risk of a lifetime, in the hopes of achieving the experience of a lifetime.


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