My decision

I’ve been very introspective on my life lately and, after much prayer and struggling, I’ve decided on something.

When the time is right, I’m going to live and study in Italy for a semester. To accomplish this, I’m designing my own major (very easy to do in school). And not only that, I’m not going to continue with premed, at least not for the time being. But I’m not designing my own major just for Italy. It’s just that for the first time, I discovered my passion.

I realized that I’ve always wanted to go to Italy and see everything, really getting to know the place. I also realized that while I like science, I can’t imagine doing that every day. And being on a medical track doesn’t allow me to take the classes I really want to take or do the internships that I want to do. Also, while I’ll have the opportunities to visit the Third World on mission trips and in Peace Corps (which I’m intending to do after I graduate), I will NEVER EVER get the opportunity to live in Italy as a student again.

Everyone always asks, “What will you DO with X degree?” Well, here’s my take. A friend of mine, who works for our diocese, said that, “Education isn’t merely for utility.” She’s right. It’s to teach you how to think and reason, how to express yourself, and how to find your passions. If you’re called to a professional track, that’s great and I’m open to the idea of going back to premed if that’s what I’m meant to do. However, I’m only young once and if there’s any time to have adventures and study something for the sake of learning, now is the time.

Life isn’t measured by success or longevity. It’s measured by what we do with it and how we live it. This is my chance to learn about my roots and study something I’m extremely passionate about. I just want to enjoy the gift that God has given me.

Ahhh… congratulations! :smiley:
I hope you have a WONDERFUL time… you’re right, you’re only young once… embrace this opportunity while you can!

Good luck and God bless you in your decision! :slight_smile:

I always wanted to go live in France for a semester, a summer, a month— something.

I never did it and I’ve always regretted it.

Go for it!

Don’t join the peace corps. I’m not kidding, but if you do, you’re blacklisted from tons of government jobs.

The why, is a total mystery to me, but you may as well write “crackhead” on your security interview.

former student is now spending the year in Italy as part of her education at U of Dallas and loves it. another student will be spending a year in a Latin American (country not established yet) teaching since she is bilingual, as part of a program thru Notre Dame. A third student is spending his junior year in Russia as part of his education, and Steubenville has a campus in Austria, and another Catholic U has a campus in Poland, the university where Pope John Paul II studied (SIL spend a semester there between HS and college under the auspices of his Jesuit school).

There are all kids of volunteer and internship opportunities through Catholic missionaries, charities and religious orders. Peace Corps is not the only way to do this. DD’s best friend spent 3 years teaching on Indian Reservations in the Dakotas thru their Jesuit college and is now a lay employee of a missionary society serving the Indians. She also spent a year in Asia teaching with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps.


Yeah, I’ve been having a get-back-to-my roots experience this year and I realized that now is the time to explore that. I’m actually really hoping to research how recent waves of immigration are affecting Italian society. A friend of mine promised to let me talk to some of her colleagues who are specialists on immigration and a chaplain I know is friends with an Italian lady who actually does anti-Mafia work, so I’m thinking of talking to her as well.

A lot of my friends are teasing me about meeting someone but that’s not my reason for going. However, it would be funny if it weren’t so true for my family (happened to my mom and my grandma).

Don’t know anymore what I’ll do with the rest of my life. But I’m OK with that. It’s better than sticking with something you don’t like. Or maybe you like it but it doesn’t make you come alive.

Planes leave for France every day. YOU go for it! :thumbsup: :slight_smile:

Education is so expensive these days, to just burn up dollars to gain experiences certainly goes against conventional wisdom.

While you’re young you can certainly do things you can’t do when you’re older and have more responsibilities, like paying back student loans and such.

If the things you WANT to do at this critical time in your life will get you to where you want to be ten or fifteen years from now, then by all means go for it.

And mschrank is right - Peace Corps or missionary work used to disqualify an individual from getting a security clearance or some government jobs. If that will never be a concern, than it doesn’t matter.

I’m looking into working overseas after I graduate (It’s actually a job working for the Department of Defense, so I’m pretty sure I won’t be disqualified for future government work. :)) I wanted to study abroad, but being a self-supporting college student, so let’s just say it was a bit out of my budget.:smiley: Also the Field I’m going into is not exactly high paying, and I don’t want to end up with too many loans. I’ve had friends who have really struggled after getting into crazy amounts of college debt.

I understand from our Italian in-laws that at least in our hometown (Cleveland) it is common for families to take or send children and grandchildren back to visit family in the old country as a HS graduation gift or college summer trip, and an extended stay is the rule. Not always with the overt purpose of match-making, but not exactly discouraged either. All our grandchildren on that side, and their parents, aunts and uncles, have been taken or sent on this trip and money is set aside for the purpose from the time the child makes his first communion. Our granddaughter was taken by her grandparents the summer after 8th grade, and is going again this summer right after she graduates.

I went to Franciscan and never got to go to the Austria program they offered. In some ways I regret it, but in others I don’t since I’d would of had to take out an additional $15,000 in loans to go.

My recommendation is to keep your student loans as low as possible. If you can go to Italy and its paid for without having to take out anything extra then go for it.

My husband also has a degree that cost him $28,000 just because he liked books. He doesn’t use it nor will he ever proably since the MA just doesn’t pay well. If he hadn’t gotten this MA degree we wouldn’t have to have both of us working. I could be a SAHM.

When I was in college while I realized that I’d have to pay back the loans, I never thought about how it would really affect me at some point. I wish more colleges would talk with their students about how much debt can cripple their lives.

While not exactly the same in my family, Italy is A HUGE DEAL for all of us. This is one reason why I’m going. My great-grandfather taught there, my father was born there (and the first of MANY generations in his family to leave). My parents who are helping me through school, flat out told me to go, especially my mother, who is highly intuitive and can tell it was on my heart.

This came with much prayer. It was difficult to have to change a lot of previous dreams I had, but I need something that I’m passionate about. As for the money, I don’t take out that many loans to begin with and they’re all government loans. They really aren’t that much money. For this program, I’m working towards scholarships, especially since Europe in general is pricey. And I’m working over the summer and the school year.

My friends say they see a change in me, that I’m not stressing anymore and that I’m peaceful. My parents were proud of me for thinking outside of the box and making this choice. And a couple Christians whom I respect deeply have said that they sense God using this trip in some way. Of course, a couple guy friends told me to be careful, which I will be as always. Of course, my friends joke about possible future spouses but I told them that I’m not looking, haha. Though it would be funny since if that did occur, I’d be the third generation of women in my family to do that (my grandmother married in Italy, and my mother married my father, who was born there).

I’m wicked excited and can’t wait to go!

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