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Study Abroad and Domestic Study Away

Notes from Abroad: Mayra in Italy

Mayra Tlatelpa ’21 has a double major in English Literature and American Studies and a minor in Politics.  She studied at the Universita Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan, Italy

Thanks to the ISEP Airfare Award, I finally managed to overcome my fear of flying. Mostly. Even if I still get jittery when a get on a plane, I now know for sure that there will always be something amazing waiting for me whenever and wherever I disembark. Thanks to the ISEP Airfare Award I was able to fulfill my dream of studying in Italy, and the experience was better than I ever could have expected.

I must have walked clear across the city of Milan at least half a dozen times after classes and on weekends. I saw something new each time I went out. Cats lounged in the sun, stretching out in the moat of Catello Sforzeco. Turning down a side street I suddenly found myself faced with ancient ruins, and the lizards who now called them home.

Each new day was an opportunity to meet someone new. Turning down back alleys near the Navigli Canal unveiled small art studios with something new in each room. In one studio, the artist, a kind woman with wispy white hair, and I laughed as we tried to navigate the language barrier; in another, I spoke with a woman about the beautiful landscapes in the studio as her husband painted in watercolors at the table.

It was the little moments and interactions that made my experience in Milan magical. I met people who will become lifelong friends and saw sights which will stay with me forever. Now I find myself facing the hard part: counting the days until I can go back