Student Testimonials

Christina Botticchio

Christina Botticchio, Ryerson University

The stories that lie within these hills are fascinating. The people that walk these streets are inspiring. Having the privilege to hear and tell those stories for the past month was an experience like no other. The second you step foot into Urbino, you are immersed into the culture. What was somewhat intimidating and nerve-wracking at first is now another big step in my life as a journalist. Each day has pushed me a little bit farther, forcing me to step out of my comfort zone and try something new. This experience has taught me more about myself and what I am capable of. It has helped me grow and become more confident as an individual and a journalist. The experience goes by so quickly that you almost forget to stop and take a look at what you’re doing. To see how much you’ve accomplished in a town so far and so different from your own. It is so easy to get lost in the view of the mountains and the stories of the people. I think that was the best part of this trip­–getting lost in the beauty of it all.

(2015 Urbino Project)

Hannah Chanatry

Hannah Chanatry, St. Lawrence University

The Istanbul Project was without doubt a learning experience. Having no prior multimedia experience, I knew I would have a challenging month, but I was surprised by how quickly I was able to pick up the new skills, and by how immediately I saw improvement in my photography. The program did feel short – I think the Venice portion of the trip was detrimental to the time we had to produce our work – but it was an amazing opportunity to work with professors who helped me make concrete improvements to my writing and video skills. I learned about my own preferences and style as well, an understanding that I am sure will help me to make my next decisions regarding my education and career. The city of Istanbul is incredible, and I am sorry I do not have more time to spend here.

(2015 Istanbul Project)

Megan Northcote

Megan Northcote, Appalachian State University

After spending a month in Urbino scheduling and rescheduling interviews and photoshoots, crossing my fingers for a strong enough internet connection to send an email, and hiking up hills to get to class, I’ve certainly learned my lesson – being an journalist in a foreign country is not easy, but definitely worth it! While I’ve faced many reporting challenges, there is no better location to grow as a journalist than in the gorgeous Renaissance town of Urbino, where every view of rolling green hillsides and birds circling around castle spires reminds me I’m in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. And now I have an awesome Urbino Now magazine and tons of breathtaking photos to remind me of my once-in-a-lifetime international reporting experience.

(2012 Urbino Project)

Leah De Graaf

Leah De Graaf, Iowa State University

Urbino has stretched my reporting and writing skills to a new level and taught me that getting the story is so much more than simply asking the right questions. It is about absorbing the details around me. In Urbino, I gained confidence in my writing and photography skills, but most importantly, I created memories and friendships that will last a lifetime.

(2012 Urbino Project)

Leah De Graaf

Allison Butler, Iowa State University

Urbino has been more than an eye opening experience for me. It has showed me how to face diversity, language barriers and new customs with ease. I have grown as a photographer and journalist and can’t wait to hit the ground running with my new skills upon my return to the United States. I have fallen in love with Urbino and am counting down the days until my return.

(2012 Urbino Project)

Catherine Threlkeld

Catherine Threlkeld, Louisiana State University

Where to begin, Urbino? More than two weeks after I left, my head is now swirling with thoughts about my experiences there. Urbino was home for the four best weeks of my life. I learned so much about reporting, writing, videography and photography, and my cultural appreciation for that tiny Le Marche city broadened immensely.

Read more of Catherine’s impressions
(2011 Urbino Project)

Kat Russell

Kat Russell, California State University, Northridge

The instruction, support and help that I received from the instructors were nothing short of remarkable. I learned how to shoot, edit and produce a multi-media piece. I had the opportunity to work as a journalist in a foreign country and face all the struggles and triumphs that came along with that. In the end, I put together work that I am truly proud of. Additionally I made wonderful friends whom I know I will remain in contact with for the years to come. My experience in Istanbul helped me to grow as a student, a journalist, a photographer, a traveler and as a person.

See an excerpt from Kat’s blog
(2011 Istanbul Project)

Kailah Bharath

Kailah Bharath, Ryerson University

I have had the opportunity to see some beautiful sights and meet some incredible people in Urbino. Through the reporting process, I was able to delve deep into a local’s life, which has added such great value to my Italy experience as well as my journalistic skills. I’m leaving Italy with my heart full and a renewed motivation to go as far as I can in my career as a journalist.

(2011 Urbino Project)

Grant Bell

Grant Bell, James Madison University

I came to Urbino to gain professional and cultural experiences by creating a short documentary on the local life and interacting with the Italian culture. The lessons I’ve learned, both in terms of media and journalism, as well as living in a foreign country, are priceless and will never be forgotten.

(2011 Urbino Project)

Cassie Thunhorst

Cassie Thunhorst, Iowa State University

While I learned many things about journalism, photography, and video production in Urbino, I also gained a perspective I did not expect. I sincerely appreciate the Italian friends that I made who were willing to stumble through broken conversation and moments of confusion to show me the city, the culture, and the lifestyle of the people here in Urbino. It was a fantastic combination of hard work and adventure.

(2011 Urbino Project)

Kenneth Foo

Kenneth Foo, Nanyang Technological University

The experience of overseas reporting at a small renaissance Italian town like Urbino, has been exhilarating. Experiencing its sights and sounds, gaining new journalistic skills and working with local translators. What more can one ask for?

(2011 Urbino Project)

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Students Say...

I really don’t know how to convey what an incredible opportunity it is. I guess the coolest part for me was getting to investigate an issue, work with a local fixer, interview locals, talk with experts and officials, and be mentored by journalists who are actively working in the field. If you want to be a journalist, this is your chance. This program is seriously the real deal.
by Patrick Torphy, Emerson College, Jerusalem Project 2014