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My Short-Term Study-Abroad Experience in Naples and Campania

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By: Cosette Soshon

From Jan. 5 to Jan. 13, a group of 12 Caldwell University students and two faculty   members traveled to the Naples and Campania region of Italy for a short-term study- abroad experience.

Our journey started at Caldwell’s campus and took us to JFK Airport. From there it was on to Rome where we were able to spend a few precious hours in the Coliseum area and begin to form friendships. We took a train to Naples and met our wonderful tour guide and bus driver. After a long day of traveling, we arrived at the NH Ambassador Hotel in the historic section of Naples.

Our first day of touring involved exploring the city and getting to meet our second fabulous tour guide, who was extremely friendly and knowledgeable. That night many of us split up into groups of newfound friends, wandered the city and found places to eat and to converse. The following day we traveled out of Naples and into Caserta where we visited a royal palace that was the twin of Versailles Palace. After touring the grand interior, we were allowed to walk, bike, or ride a horse carriage around the exterior of the palace and explore its lush gardens.

On Friday, Jan. 9 we explored the Greek city of Cumae and encountered the Cave of the Sibyl, which once was a place for fortunetelling. We were awed by the Phlegraean Fields, or the Burning Fields, which is the crater of a collapsed volcano and smells of sulfur gas. Many of us had fun exploring the unique landscape and taking pictures while engulfed in the smoke. On Saturday we visited the Amalfi Coast, which appeared to be everyone’s favorite place due to the wonderful views of the Mediterranean, the gorgeous colors of the buildings and, of course, the shops.

On Sunday and Monday we were back to visiting ruins in the area of Paestum, which has one of the best-preserved Doric temples in the Greek world. The next day we visited the world-famous Pompeii, a Roman town frozen in time. Each day was filled with pictures of new experiences that were so different from life in the United States. Many of us have visited historic sites, but the ancient history of these cities certainly drew everyone’s attention.

For me, the best part of the trip was being able to break out of my shell and go somewhere new. I had been on trips before, but always with my parents, so going off on my own was a wonderful and important experience. It taught me to be independent and to have faith in the people I traveled with. Normally I enjoy the solitude of my room at home and occasionally go out with friends. However, having to find dinner each night in Italy forced many of us out of our comfort zones, and as a result we met new friends. During the trip, I became part of a group of five friends who always traveled with one another during the days and the evenings. We took many pictures, ate great meals and shared many stories and laughs. I will definitely remember this trip and the friends I made. I encourage other students to give study-abroad experiences a try. They’ll never know what they will find out about themselves and the world around them!

Cosette Soshon is a senior majoring in history.

The Italy: Naples & Campania Region short term study abroad trip was led by faculty members Dr. Rosann Bar of the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice and Dr. Sally Jo Weber of the Department of Foreign Languages.

The group also visited an archeological museum, made a trip to Sorrento,  learned about Italy’s water buffalos and had lunch at a farm where they ate buffalo.

Caldwell University offers students opportunities to study abroad for a semester or year or during available summer, winter, and spring sessions.  For more information about long and short-term study abroad opportunities, please visit https://www.caldwell.edu/student-success/study-abroad and LIKE us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/caldwellstudyabroad