Oh the Places You’ll Go!

Life as a Communication Major

My experience as a communications major at West Chester has brought me the opportunity to travel and wander around the world. It has always been a dream and a desire of mine to experience different cultures and see the beauty of the world. With my communications degree I plan on pursuing a career in fashion because of the huge influence it has on people. For me, I express myself through my clothing and I love experimenting with new trends and patterns. It really interests me how different cultures all around the world express themselves through the way they dress.

Study abroad program at WCU

With the help of the study abroad office here at West Chester, I had the opportunity to spend my summer studying abroad in Milan, Italy, the fashion capitol of the world. My program of choice was through the communications department and it offered courses in fashion-can’t get any better than that! As I prepared for my summer abroad I had no idea that I was about to go on the trip of a lifetime. This was not my first time in Europe, I have been to France, Germany and Belgium but that was with people I knew and had a set itinerary. This trip was all on my own, something I was both scared and excited for. I always had a fascination with the world and always swore that I would take advantage of every opportunity to travel.

Finding the right program

Originally, I was nervous as I tried to find a program that fit my major and interested me at the same time. I wanted to be open and free to explore and do what I please and not have to be told when and where I had to be. Milan was the perfect choice for me. I guess I should mention, I took 6 years of French so I had no idea how to speak Italian at all but I mean I’m a COM major, I learn how to communicate. I’ll be fine right?

Italian language

The language barrier didn’t seem to get into the way too much because people either spoke enough English to understand me or they were very patient and helpful as I butchered their beautiful language. Everything was a learning process, from the language, to navigating the city and the fun part dressing like an Italian. I learned that Italians are way ahead of us in trends. One thing that shocked me the most was that the women there wore little to no make-up at all. Their natural faces, always covered by statement sunglasses,  were so different from the pounds of make-up I was used to seeing women wear in the States.

The little things

The little things I would notice on my metro ride to school, such as how many people rolled their own cigarettes on their morning commute, or how students read books preparing for class were all things I would never guess. The experiences brought on by emerging yourself in different cultures and getting out of your comfort zone is one of the biggest things I learned. Becoming aware of differences around you and accepting and embracing them can really open your eyes to endless possibilities. Can’t wait to see where I’m off to next!