Giulia Sala grew up in Kenya before moving to Milan, Italy, and is currently studying Nursing at Lane Community College in Eugene, Oregon

Giulia Sala grew up in Kenya before moving to Milan, Italy, and is currently studying Nursing at Lane Community College in Eugene, Oregon

Why did you decide to study in the USA?

There was a better opportunity of study here in the States that Italy did not offer me. My circumstances are also different from most International students, my whole family moved to the States so it was a lucky break for me in that sense. We moved to Miami, Florida, but I didn’t like it there.

Why did you choose this particular college or university? What attracted you about your school? Please mention such factors as location, reputation, courses offered. What is special about your school and its location?

I chose Lane Community College for its Nursing program’s reputation. Nursing is a very competitive field but Lane properly prepares you for getting into the program. The location also drew me to Lane, the campus looked very welcoming and the seasons offered by the West Coast certainly made it more appealing. Eugene is also a very cute and inviting town full of a lot of interesting people (international students included). A lot nicer than Miami in my opinion.

What do you like best about your program or university?

I like that my program is well structure and that it has become open to international students as well. The Counselors at Lane helped me set out an academic map that kept me on track.

What do you miss most about home?

Other family members, but otherwise Lane and Eugene have become my second home.

What was your biggest surprise about U.S. life and education?

My biggest surprise is the differences between Americans, especially from the East and West coasts. There are so many dialects and ways of life in one country that it’s astounding.   

How have you handled:

... language differences?

 I grew up speaking and learning in English (living in Kenya, it was a British colony) so language was not a challenge. However, idioms were at times a struggle to comprehend.

... finances?

It takes a lot of money to study out here, and Lane isn’t one of the expensive colleges. However, do not underestimate the costs that can pile up from living expenses, groceries, necessities, luxury’s, and tuition. Life for an international student in the States isn’t always easy for everyone.

... adjusting to a different educational system?

I have always studied in both the British and American systems. It’s a struggle however, for some International students to understand deadlines and material for their classes. International students should be prepared to have a good work ethic when it comes to school work. Otherwise, what’s the point in spending all that money for?

What are your activities? (clubs, sports, student associations, travel, homestay programs, special activities or trips sponsored by your program)

I like playing a lot of different sports, but my favorites are soccer, swimming and tennis. I don’t belong to any clubs because I am unfortunately quite busy. There are meet ups and groups you can find on Facebook that allow you to meet up with people with the same interests here in Eugene, especially at UO. I also love to travel; thanks to the friends I’ve made here and my boyfriend, I’m slowly exploring more of Oregon and the surrounding states.

How easy or difficult is making friends in the USA?

It is very easy and fun making friends here in Oregon. All it takes is a little bit of courage and making the first move in striking up a conversation.

What are your career goals? How is your U.S. education relevant to your personal goals and to the needs of your country?

I strive to be an RN once I get in and finish the Nursing program at Lane. I want be of help to others and provide financial stability for my parents. I considered returning to Italy to be a Nurse but I rather broaden my focus to an International scale. The education provided here in the U.S. can help build a great foundation for my ambitions at being either a traveling nurse or working for an International health organization.

What is your advice to other students from your country who are considering a U.S. education?

If you have the funds to study abroad, give Oregon a try! Just be prepared to fall in love with the place, meet great friends, and further your education in one of the best environments ever. Where they strive to help you grow and experience great things as you explore yourself and the state.

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Giulia Sala

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