Student from Italy
Studies in Winona, Minnesota
Graduating May 2017
Major: Mass Communication – Journalism
I am a student originally from Torino, Italy. Studying in the U.S. for higher education has always been one of my biggest dreams and aspirations. During my senior year of high school, I spent one year as an exchange student in Washington State; I was scared at the time, being my very first experience outside my country at the age of 16. The year was so meaningful and rewarding to me that I knew I wanted to come back to the U.S. I wanted to go back to the land that kindly welcomed when I was just a high school student, and made me feel so valuable. With a little bit of determination and open mindset, I was determined to take a step forward and make a big change in my life. I just needed to embark on a flight. The rest would have fallen into place like it was meant to
As I was deciding where I could study in college, Winona State, Minnesota, stood out from any other university. With its great mass communications department, I jumped right into the journalism field and took the opportunity to join the students-run Winonan newspaper, as well the Society for Journalists Club, that both introduced me to the journalism world on a local, college level and connected me with students who crossed the same path as mine. As the editor of the Wellzine publication, I gained experience in leadership and magazine editing, skills that will highly contribute to my future career.
Looking back to these past four years, I can only see myself having grown from my classes, as well as clubs and jobs I have been a part of on this campus. From a classroom context, to a part-time internship, to an on-campus club, I have gained valuable knowledge and practical skills I can now apply to my life and to a work environment as well. My classes have fostered an environment of personal development through the help and availability of my professors and classmates. Little by little, I have seen myself contributing to that learning environment and acquiring a lot of confidence. I always felt in judgment free zones where my opinions and feedback were highly appreciated and encouraged by my peers and professors. My journalism classes have given me the hands on tools to understand how journalists interact with people out in the real world and how to write compelling stories of human interest. They pushed me to get out of my comfort zone and explore the world with curiosity and open mindedness.
Now that I am getting close to graduation, I will be staying in the U.S. with a work authorization called OPT, that will last for a year. Through my work authorization, I will be working for the Winona Daily News as a reporter and photographer. In the next couple years, I would like to expand my skills and work in a bigger newsroom outside of Minnesota or even in Europe.
Winona State made a great difference for me. It made me believe that dreams are possible and conquerable if I am willing to take a stab and work hard toward them and it turned me into the strong and confident person I am today. To any student interested in studying in the U.S., I suggest you to try the American university experience and don’t be afraid to embark into something unknown. As scary as it might sound in the beginning, you will make a lot of friends right from the beginning because Americans are friendly and open-minded. You will grow day by day and be part of communities that are very interested in getting to know international students. So don’t be afraid, and live the American dream!