The food. The culture. The language.
SJC Long Island’s Gabriella Marino ’21, recipient of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ prestigious Gilman Scholarship, is excited to take in all that life in Italy has to offer while studying hospitality and tourism at Florence University of the Arts (FUA).
“I look forward to experiencing the world,” said Marino, a hospitality and tourism management major. “St. Augustine of Hippo once said, ‘The world is a book, and those who don’t travel read only one page.’ It is such an inspiring statement.”
Marino, who’s studying abroad for the first time, arrived in Italy last month. Her classes started today.
Hospitality in Italy
Throughout the semester, Marino will attend the following courses: The Florence Food and Culture Experience, Food of Italy: Regional Cultures, Italian Vegetarian Culture and Traditions, International Tourism, and Elementary Italian. She’s also set to attend a very interesting conference.
“During my time at FUA, I will be able to attend the 5th Annual Hospitality Conference, Caterina de’ Medici: 500 years of Italian Hospitality,” said Marino, who has a specialty track in hotel management. “I believe this will be an amazing experience as a hospitality major.”
In addition to immersing herself in the practices of Italian hospitality, Marino is looking forward to gaining independence and adaptability.
“Traveling and living in another country, I hope to have an open mind and become more tolerant and value diversity,” the Yaphank, New York, native said. “I will definitely experience culture shock being immersed in a country I am not familiar with, but I hope to develop self-knowledge and behavioral strategies to overcome that shock.”
Marino hopes to start working as a hotel representative at a brand hotel once she returns from Italy. Her classes end May 13.
The Gilman Scholarship
At first, when the Gilman Scholarship recipients were announced, Marino didn’t know she was one of them — the email informing her had gone to spam.
While waiting on that message, she was scrolling through Twitter when she saw that Gilman posted the list of recipients. That’s when she realized she was one of them.
“It was such an exciting moment,” she said. “I jumped out of bed and ran to my mom to tell her.
“If I had the opportunity to speak with the people who made this scholarship available, I would give them a tremendous thank you,” Marino added. “I have never been nominated for a scholarship; this was a proud moment for myself.”
“All of us at St. Joseph’s are so proud of Gabriella and this tremendous accomplishment,” said Lubranski, whol helped Marino apply for the scholarship. “One of the many benefits of attending a smaller school like ours is that students get customized attention and advisement on scholarship opportunities. We also allow students to apply their institutional scholarship toward tuition abroad and do not charge students a fee for studying abroad.
“We do everything we can to help students take advantage of opportunities such as this one.”