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Being in the Moment

In Pictures
Cheryl Mei ’25 hiked to the top of Mount Gamti in Albania to see this breathtaking view, and visited a weekend flea market selling antique and modern relics in the city center of Catania, Sicily.
In Pictures
Kelly O’Donnell ’24 at the Eiffel Tower at sunrise, and having delicious breakfast at the Louvre in Paris.
In Pictures
Grace Wlodarczyk ’25 during her visit to London with Big Ben, and Wlodarczyk and her cousin Sammie, who took a tour around London on a double-decker high tea bus.
In Pictures
Emily Bianco ’25 on a field exercise finding and identifying specific organisms in the ocean, and huddling under the umbrella for some shade and snack break during the RAMSAR site tour.
In Pictures
Jackson Burns ’25 at his favorite food spot in Florence, and a visit to a park in Vienna, Austria, with a church as the backdrop.

Compiled by Madison Schulman

This semester, we’re following five Endicott Gulls on study abroad and internship experiences across the globe. Read the first dispatch here.

For this second installment, we asked these Gulls how things have been going so far, and if they have any fun memories or stories to share. We also asked what they miss most about home, and if they have discovered anything new since the last update.

Jackson Burns ’25—Florence, Italy

Things are going well—I feel settled in and comfortable in Florence. My favorite part of studying abroad is how Florence is a walking city. This is my first time living in a city, and I am amazed at how quiet the city is. I really enjoy how quiet it is at night, and how all you can hear are people.

My favorite memory so far is my parents coming to visit. We went to my favorite pizza, steak, pasta, and fish places, and they got to experience the best food Florence has to offer. We toured the Duomo and Santa Croce and went to the Ponte Vecchio and Piazzale Michelangelo. Lastly, we did wine tastings out in Tuscany. These days were my favorite memories because my parents got to experience everything I’ve been loving so much for the past two months.

Some new discoveries I have made are some smaller things—wine windows and cafes that only the locals go to. Also, some of the smaller architecture is just as historic and beautiful, minus the crowds of tourists. I’ve done a good job of appreciating where I am in the moment while I’m here, and I plan to continue doing that.

Emily Bianco ’25—Turks and Caicos

So far, this trip has been an incredible experience! It has been a treat to work with like-minded people and the professors are so passionate and knowledgeable. Classes combined with the fieldwork have definitely been my favorite thing—it’s a treat getting to work with professors who specialize and do their own research on the topics they’re teaching.

As part of our Marine Conservation Governance class, we took a trip through North and Middle Caicos and Providenciales to learn about the history of the Turks and Caicos Islands. Our trip started off with a boat ride from South Caicos (where the campus is) to North Caicos. We then drove to Middle Caicos to visit the Conch Bar Caves. From there, we took a lunch break at a gorgeous beach and then continued on to Wades Green. Wades Green used to be a plantation where many slaves were held captive and forced to work. The next day, we took a trip to RAMSAR, a marshland where we learned about the research done there. Finally, on our third day, we took a boat to Providenciales.

I didn’t experience homesickness until the second week in October. I felt like I was missing out on things my friends were doing on campus and I missed my dogs. A big thing that helped me overcome this was trying to stay present in the moment. It is really easy to get caught up in classes, social media, and our daily lives. In my opinion, it is super important to take a step back and remember where I am and the incredible experience I am living.

Cheryl Mei ’25—Perugia, Italy

I feel like I’ve really gotten adjusted to the school routine and feel almost like a local resident of Perugia. My favorite part about studying abroad has been the never-ending things and activities to do, whether that be events in the city, day trips to nearby towns/cities, or traveling to different countries on the weekend. My favorite memories have been visiting different regions of Italy and countries in Europe. I can meet new people, experience new cultures, and visit the beautiful landscapes each place has to offer.

I’ve discovered that I’ve been progressing greatly in speaking Italian and have become more confident in translating Italian even if I see something wrong. I haven’t really experienced homesickness, however, I think this is because I talk to my friends and family occasionally as they check in on me and my abroad experience.

Kelly O’Donnell ’24—Cork, Ireland

Social Marketing Intern, IGC Global Promotions

I’ve been settling in really nicely with my internship and with everybody here in Cork. I absolutely love my job and this city! So far this semester, I’ve traveled four times including to Croatia, Norway, Paris, and Copenhagen, which has been a dream. My favorite part about interning abroad is definitely getting the opportunity to immerse myself in a different culture and meet so many new people.

It is really hard to pinpoint a favorite moment of mine so far because there have been so many, but if I had to share some highlights I would say either snorkeling in the blue caves off the coast of Croatia, eating breakfast at the Louvre in Paris, or taking a train to Sweden for lunch from Copenhagen. All three of those experiences have been absolutely surreal!

Since our last update, I have been focused on figuring out what I want to do moving forward. Especially with this being my last year at Endicott, I have started to consider career and post-grad options. After going abroad again, I have been thinking about potentially moving to Ireland or somewhere in Europe post-grad! (Still just an idea, but being abroad again has made me realize how much I love living over here!)

Grace Wlodarczyk ’25—Florence, Italy

My experience so far has been incredible. I have been able to travel the world and meet so many new people. Each day I feel as if I make a new friendship and my horizons expand much further than the Nest.

I took a trip to visit my cousin in London and traveled alone from Italy. I took two trains, a tram, and an airplane all by myself. We explored London throughout the weekend and hit all the big attractions. My favorite was Big Ben because of the intricate details that were sculpted by hand. We also went to the musical, The Book of Mormon, in the West End. It was a hilarious show and a beautiful weekend with my cousin.

Some new discoveries I have made include the importance of taking time for yourself. All too often, we get wrapped up in the fast-paced American way of life. However, it is important to take a leisurely break and enjoy the beauty of the world around you. One of my favorite memories was baking cookies with some of my new friends. We were all feeling a little homesick, so we figured a good old American chocolate chip cookie would cheer us up! We spent many hours working together to create these amazing cookies. They tasted just like home!