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Learning With a Foreign Accent

Study abroad is open to ONU students in all majors. For some it is required for graduation.

On Friday, Oct. 15, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the McIntosh Activities Room, the second annual study abroad fair will give students the opportunity to learn more.

Mitchell Lawson, the graduate assistant for study abroad, says students can earn credit by studying abroad, “but cultural understanding is one of the greatest aspects.” He encourages freshmen and sophomores to think about study abroad options early in their college career, so they can make it part of their schedule.

Robert Kidd, a senior in international business and economics from North Ridgeville, Ohio, did just that and spent the summer studying in Italy.

While study abroad is a requirement for his major, Kidd says, “One of my dreams growing up was to go to Italy. My family is from there and I really wanted to see if I was ‘raised Italian.’ I found out I am actually an American.”

While studying at the Italian Università degli Studi di Torino (University of Torino), Kidd lived with two other Americans in an apartment with Italian neighbors.

His two classes, International Management and Business and Politics in the European Union, were taught in English by four professors, two were Italian, one was an American from Idaho and the fourth an American now living in Italy. Three were attorneys.

“It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. This was way beyond what I could have imagined,” Kidd said. “I was only there for five weeks, but I’m hoping I made lifelong friends.”

Coming from a small town, Ridgeville, and attending ONU, Kidd had some concerns about studying in a foreign country. But he learned something important about himself. “I realized that regardless the situation I’m in, I’m know I’m going to be able to adapt to it and make the most out of anything I do. It’s definitely a great way to find that out about myself - to be in a foreign country and not know the language and still get around and do something as simple as ordering food.”

When Kidd graduates in May, he is looking at attending law school. His plan is to eventually get into corporate law and specialize in international trade.