Colin’s Study Abroad Experience

We’re often told about the amazing programs that allow you to spend time in a foreign country and earn college credit, but really, what’s all the fuss about?


Well, it’s the chance of a lifetime! I spent last spring semester living in Certaldo, Italy and exploring Europe through the ECU Tuscany program. Since I’ve been back, I am excited to share my experience in hopes that I can inspire others to study abroad!


I understand concerns about a semester abroad: the cost, the time away from campus, the classes offered… all of which are valid, but lucky for you, ECU Tuscany is designed with the ECU student in mind.


First, affordability. Spending a semester abroad in Italy is one of the most cost-effective study abroad experiences available. It can be cheaper than spending a semester living on campus, so the affordability of ECU Tuscany can’t be understated! Also, there are many scholarships available to help fund your experience. I was fortunate that my trip was completed covered by university scholarships, and you can apply for scholarships through the ECUAward scholarship portal.


Second, like you, I had a lot of fear about what spending an entire semester away from home. It’s called FOMO, fear of missing out, and we all get it. But lucky for you, with ECU Tuscany you’re traveling with ECU professors and students; it’s like your own ECU campus in Italy! In Certaldo, you have access to great Wi-Fi internet. I was able to land a summer internship, win an elected position, and interview for a job all while I was abroad. You might be in a different country; however, it’s the 21st century. There’s no distance too far from staying in touch with close friends and family and to search for future opportunities waiting for you back home.


Lastly, all of the classes that you will take in Italy are ECU classes straight from our catalog! So, there’s no need to worry about transfer credits or getting behind on your 4-year plan. If you plan ahead, you can take a full semester of classes and stay on track with your major, whatever that may be. I took 16-credit hours of foundation courses like fine arts, humanities, and even my kinesiology class, and now I’m entering my junior year ready to start my program in Health Services Management.


So what are you waiting for? You can start planning your Italy experience today! It’s never too early to start rearranging your 4-year plan to include three months of college abroad. Trust me, you won’t regret it.