Illinois Business Council

Study Abroad Sunday: Cooper Macek

By Brigid McCann

1) Why did you decide to study abroad in Milan, Italy?

I chose to study abroad in Milan because I wanted to be in Italy. My cousin was here a few years ago and told me how she had a great time because there is so much to do just in Italy. Outside of eating pizza and pasta, Milan is home to two major soccer teams: Inter FC and AC Milan. I’m a big soccer fan and wanted to have a historic stadium like the San Siro in my backyard.

2) What has been your most fun or interesting experience so far?

I have had a great time on each trip for different reasons, and I have been to so many different places that it is easy for some trips to be lost in the shuffle. Currently my favorite trip has been Barcelona, Spain. I liked how there were so many different areas of the city such as the Gothic Quarter, Las Ramblas, and the beach. To cap it off I saw a match in the Camp Nou which is an experience I’ll never forget.

3) What is the most exotic food you have eaten?

The most exotic food I ate is haggis in Edinburgh, Scotland. Haggis is sheep’s heart but doesn’t taste horrible at all, and I recommend it if anyone is willing to take a risk!

4) What is your favorite part of being abroad?

My favorite part is the freedom you have abroad. It is easy to travel every weekend and with the free time you have abroad you can learn about yourself and the world around you on a different level. The food is my second favorite thing of course.

5) What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced while abroad?

Not knowing Italian has been rough. I’ve had countless blank stares from strangers because they can’t understand me, and all I want to know is where the bus station is!

6) Do you have any funny stories from being abroad?

After a night out, I made it back to our apartment in Milan but had lent my keys to a friend visiting and I tried buzzing the door, but everyone in the apartment was asleep, (S/O Elisa for being a part of that). After having no way to get in, I climbed a 20 foot roof and was going to jump into our apartment through a window. The neighbor heard me on his roof and wasn’t too happy… and proceeded to yell at me in Italian. Eventually, he let me in through his apartment and I finally made it home. 

Study Abroad Sunday: Cooper Macek

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