Grace Helliwell – Psychology & Sociology – Level 1

Venice, Italy

After reading the invitation to apply for a paid educational trip to Venice, I jumped at the chance to be considered.  Before this, I had very limited experience with travel and I had never been on an airplane. This allowed me to challenge myself to step out of my comfort zone and I knew that I could broaden my view of the world and my chosen subject by visiting not just another country but being a guest at a prestigious Italian university taking part in lectures.

I thought hard about what to write and submitted the application. I was very privileged to be chosen to take part in this once in a lifetime opportunity, not only for my benefit but to also to represent Psychology and Sociology at Queen Margaret in this first of its kind overseas adventure. When the itinerary was sent out I knew that the week would be busy and exciting. Participating in Italian life both culturally and educationally gave me an insight into how others live. I loved the setting of Venice, the Venetian way, a true insight into life from another corner of the globe. I could see life from another perspective for the first time, both in the classroom and by watching the Venetian world go by.

Travelling by vaporeto was unique, water taxi travel in the blazing sun or walking to university through the paths and across the bridges in the heat was so different to bus and train travel back home. I loved the idea that the worlds were so different and yet students could still study the same subject and relate it to their social lives and psychological studies, the language similarities and differences were fascinating.

Overall this experience has help build my confidence by traveling and communicating with new people and discovering alternative ways of learning. This trip also allowed me to budget my own money and allowing personal growth in terms of taking responsibility for myself. This trip has ignited passion in me to travel in the future. Anyone lucky enough to be chosen for this trip would be a benefactor of a cultural and educational awareness that can only be achieved by living the life of an Italian student in the city where architecture and history collide to offer a unique and supreme experience.  Thank you for this lifetime opportunity.

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