Student Testimonials

Mariam Aliyu

Mariam Aliyu, Rutgers University

Prior to arriving in Urbino, I didn’t realize that I would get so attached to this quaint, beautiful little town. After these short few weeks, Urbino feels like home. However, I never got used to the insanely steep streets, and I’ve eaten more pasta here than I have in my whole entire life. I loved being able to practice journalism hands-on, in a foreign country, despite being tested to great limits. Getting to know my subject and seeing my story come together was one of the most rewarding aspects. Meeting locals, despite language barriers was something I’ll really miss, along with just exploring the hidden gems of the city. I’m really thankful to have had a part in this program, and it’s something that I will remember forever.
(2016 Urbino Project)

Matt Boselli

Matt Boselli, Colorado State University

The weeks in Croatia proved to be a very rewarding experience – full of travel journalism lessons, new found friendships, and lifelong memories. This course had the perfect mentors and teachers to lead us around the history rich Country that remains a secret to most of America. Expecting to soak in the culture and take a laid back vacation, I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of work and the amount of useful Journalism tips I’ll be able to bring home with me. I look forward to using this experience in my future as I search for a job in the journalism and media world.
(2016 Croatia Project)

Brittany Budhoo

Brittany Budhoo, Ryerson University

Spending the past four weeks in Urbino has been an extremely rewarding and invaluable experience in many ways. Embracing Italy’s rich culture and building relationships with the community has made Urbino feel a bit more like home. The Urbino Project has truly benefited me as a journalist, as I’ve gained lifelong knowledge about writing, photography and videography. To each my professors, thank you for shaping me into an even better journalist. And to my new friends, I couldn’t imagine travelling on this journey without you guys. To have had the pleasure of being a part of this program is something I will forever be grateful for. With me, I will be taking lifelong memories, but my heart will remain here in Urbino.
(2016 Urbino Project)

Rachel Weiss

Rachel Weiss, University of St. Thomas

My name is Rachel and I am a senior studying communications, journalism and German studies at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota. I knew close to nothing about Croatia before I arrived. What I didn’t realize is that this place is one of the most unique and special countries in the world. Croatia has truly been an exceptional place to study travel journalism because of its history, culture and wonderful people. The people in Croatia make it what it is and it was one of the most welcoming places I’ve visited. My trip has been filled with unforgettable experiences and I would do it a million times over again.
(2016 Croatia 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. 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)

David Kravitz

David Kravitz, Colorado State University

I’m David Kravitz and I had never been to Europe before this trip and when I told friends where I was going they thought it was Crimea. The fact that Croatia was so unknown to me besides hearing about the Yugoslav war made the whole experience worthwhile. I learned about Croatia’s fight for independence, and the culture, which was important for me to understand while immersing in the culture. The week in Split was gorgeous; the white rock beaches were wonderful. The time is Zagreb too was great; it’s such a beautiful quaint town and definitely one I’d come back to.
(2016 Croatia Project)

Christina Botticchio

Christina Botticchio, Ryerson University

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)

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)

Bridgette Windell

Bridgette Windell, Colorado 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.
(2016 Croatia 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)

Allison Butler

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...

Things are complicated. I’ve never appreciated that sentiment more than now, after a month’s immersion in Istanbul. There is a totally new range of stories and issues from a culture that is oriented entirely differently than the United States. My admiration for the city slowly crept up on me. Diligent restaurant waiters, Muslim women in burkas and three-inch heels, entire families out at 2 a.m., the Bosphorus, my neighbor who fed 20+ cats daily, 17-year-olds willing to egg the mayor in protest against gentrification and for some semblance of self-determination–all these things inspired me.
by Rachel Aston, San Francisco State University, Istanbul Project 2014