Jonathan Shinn
Choral Music Education and Vocal Performance double major
Avon, Indiana

Where are you studying abroad and why did you choose this destination?
I am studying abroad in Milan, Italy, to immerse myself in Italian culture and learn the language. I chose this destination for several reasons, including the thriving music community. There are many opportunities for musicians. I also wanted a mixture of both a big city and Italian culture.

What have you discovered about yourself from your study abroad experience?
I have discovered that taking time for yourself improves your mental and physical health. In the States, everything is very fast-paced, and I feel pressured to do 8,000 things at once. A slower life is appreciated and encouraged in Italy, even in big cities like Milan. I’ve discovered that this slower life has brought so much peace.

What surprised you most about your study abroad experience?
I was surprised by how easy the transition from Butler to Milan really was. I expected to be a lot more homesick and struggle to navigate a new country. Getting used to the time difference was a struggle initially, but my overall transition experience was surprisingly smooth.

What advice would you give to Butler students who are considering studying abroad?
My advice to Butler students considering studying abroad is to do it. Studying abroad takes a lot of planning, time, effort, and money, but it is all worth it. Putting yourself outside your comfort zone and learning about other cultures are invaluable experiences for self-discovery and growth.