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Caleb Smith visits the Vatican

Caleb Smith: Study Abroad

Meet Caleb Smith '15, Kutztown University Art Education graduate. Caleb traveled to Temple, Rome with KU's Study Abroad program in Fall 2014. Upon traveling, he was able to get firsthand experience with famous artworks and Italian museums that will benefit his future students. Caleb also had the opportunity to pick up the Italian language by conversing with the locals.

With more than 30 countries connected to our program, Kutztown University offers students the opportunity to be immersed in a culture of their choosing. Check out Caleb's incredible journey.

My Study Abroad Experience

By Caleb Smith '15

I chose to study abroad in Rome based on my major, which is art education, and recommendations from friends who've spent previous semesters in Temple, Rome. Because of my major, I've had the opportunity to learn about famous artworks and different Italian museums, but the KU Study Abroad program allowed me to study these close up and in person. My firsthand experiences will be very beneficial to my future students.

Temple of Jupiter at TerracinaThe most surprising thing about studying abroad was the diversity of the people in the program. Since Rome is a hub for art, I assumed most students would be fine arts or architecture majors, but the majority of students were majoring in something other than art. There were students from many majors: everything from political science to business to pre-med.

Looking back, I really appreciated my Rome Sketchbook class. The class consisted of traveling around to famous museums, buildings and locations to sketch from observations. It was a good way to see the city and meet different people, as the class was open to non-art majors as well. My favorite excursion was the fall break adventure. Two friends and I traveled to Milan, Amsterdam and Copenhagen. I found it was important to keep track of my fall break date so I could save up money and gather a group to travel with throughout Europe.

Caleb Smith in AmsterdamMy advice for students who are considering studying abroad is to research their destination well in advance to their arrival. By doing this, students will have a better idea of activities and sights they'd like to see. The experience is over in a flash, so time management helps to make the most of it.

Living in Rome for over three months required me to pay attention to how people dressed. By blending in, I felt as though I belonged in Rome rather than simply visiting.

Making friends with the locals and speaking the native language were key parts of getting the most out of my experience. By making friends, I was able to see local spots and places that are less expensive and Americanized. I would also recommend learning more of the language than just how to order food and drinks. At first, it may be hard, but stick with it because being able to communicate at a basic level with locals is extremely rewarding.

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