About me and why wine?

Currently I am studying in Italy as an exchange student from the USAI initially chose to study in Italy because I am of complete Italian descent, and I am current a Marketing and Italian major at the University of Texas at Austin. I chose to study at Bocconi because I believe this university has many opportunities to offer and I would like to work in Europe after I graduate, so what better way to be exposed to Europe than in one of the most prestigious business schools.

This past summer I lived in Italy for 3 months. Not only was I able to improve my language skills, but also I was able to absorb a whole new culture. Although I am completely of Italian descent, there were many new traditions and customs that I learned during my stay in Italy. While in Rome, I lived with an Italian family that only spoke Italian. This situation taught me how to be innovative with my communication skills. It also taught me about the everyday life and situations faced in an Italian family. Now I am currently studying at Bocconi University in Milan and although I have lived in Italy once before, this is a whole new experience. Now I am completely living on my own in a foreign country and Milan seems to be the polar opposite of Rome. Although I have only lived here for two months, Milan has taught me about a whole different life style from the American one I possess.  I am now well versed in current politics, media, and news of many European countries.

I now realize that although I am a United States citizen, I am also a citizen of the world, something many of my colleagues forget.  I feel this experience has already changed my life and will only strengthen myself as a person and as a student. Academically, I have been able to learn my ancestral language by immersing myself in the culture and by speaking the language on a daily basis with true, native Italians, thereby improving my education as an Italian major. Simultaneously, I have been able to learn about the Italian ideas and values first-hand through a variety of different mediums such as: language, food, art, fashion, history, as well as the daily cultural routines; experiences that a classroom setting will never provide. I have also had the opinions and thoughts of world-class professor’s taught to me in my current courses.

Personally, I have been able to reconnect with my foreign exchange student friends, which are currently enrolled at University Bocconi. These students truly changed my life; they left me with a desire to learn more about their fascinating existence. Already I believe that studying abroad will allow me to return home with new ideas and perspectives about my own culture, ultimately expanding my views of the world and of myself. I have always been fascinated about my ancestral history and have had a curious passion to learn more. By putting myself in a whole new place and culture, although stressful and sometimes frustrating, has caused me to reflect on my new discovered strengths and abilities, new innovative forms of conquering challenges, and solving new problems. Professionally, studying abroad, I feel, has and will only enhance my employment opportunities.

I go to school in Central Texas, specifically Austin, but I have lived in New York, Virginia, Dallas, and Houston.  In Austin there are many different and interesting things to do. It is a college town but it also has the city feel. Austin is famous for its city night life, the music atmosphere, the University of Texas and its sports, but also for the cultural and liberal experience it offers to its inhabitants. Austin is a very unique city in which you can find about anything you could ever think of and of course there is a large wine population and surprisingly there are vineyards on the outskirts of the city.

Although I am accustomed to drinking wine, coming from an Italian Catholic family, I would like to further explore the concept of how wine is made and the impact it has had on culture through out the centuries as well as on present day life. I also want to examine the differences that exist in wine production between the regions of North American and Europe.

Living in Italy where wine is paramount and essential I feel that I will be able to analyze the concept more closely and through a different perspective. I have worked for a wine company where I learned how to promote customer service by appealing to culturally diverse markets through processing customer orders, analyzing consumer preferences, and translating company brochures. My father loves wine and at home we have a wine cellar. Also my grandfather used to make his own wine with his secret recipe from the motherland. In addition one of my friends owns his own winery in Abruzzo, Italy and I have been able to learn more about wines and the winery process through his expertise. I also posses knowledge about American vineyards and I would like to explore the differences that exist with the Italian vineyards and wine process.

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