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Joe Yanik, ’04

Joe Yanik – Fall 2003, Spring and Summer 2004

School Aff. Temple U. main campus, B.A. in the Department of Italian Studies

I am a 3-semester, former student of TR who graduated with a B.A. in Italian Studies from Temple U. My visit to the TR campus in Feb. 2017, was the first time I’ve returned to Rome/TR since completing all the credits for my degree here in Rome during the summer of 2004.

Seeing the Eternal City, especially the campus on Lungotevere Arnaldo da Brescia, was like stepping into a time capsule. I’m sure some things have changed in the past 13 years but much appears to have remained the same.

My study abroad experience at TR has had a profound impact on my life. The lessons I learned and growth I experienced have permeated every major decision I’ve made in life since I left. These decisions have ranged from my choices of jobs and where to reside, my decisions to join the military, to continue my education in international affairs, to how I decorated my apartment, who I’ve dated and form friendships with.

I weighed these decisions by asking myself questions like, “How can I get the same thrill and inspiration from doing something as I had as a student studying Italian in Italy?” “How can I obtain a similar level of satisfaction as when I perfected an Italian phrase?” “Where can I be in life that inspires me to learn about the world around me?”

To the present and future study abroad students of TR, I urge you to, 1.) savor each moment in Rome, like you would every bite of Cacio e Pepe or sip of Valpolicella red wine, 2.) appreciate the importance of understanding and being by understood by others different from you, 3.) remember the words of Prof. Gadeyne during his on-site lectures: “Take it in, breath it in and (let’s) continue!” These lessons, and so many more, will serve you well in your future.


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