Exploring Dubrovnik: A Global Scholar Adventure
Frank Cammarata and Logan Burns, students from the RIT’s Saunders College of Business in Rochester, embarked on a transformative journey as part of the Global Scholar program during the fall semester of 2023. Their destination? Dubrovnik, Croatia, where they experienced a blend of new academic experiences, cultural differences, and many opportunities for personal growth at the RIT Croatia campus. Frank is currently in his 3rd year of studying at RIT. At RIT he is a double major, studying Management Information Systems and Global Business Management, with a minor in Accounting, and an immersion in Philosophy. Logan Burns is a 3rd student majoring in Finance.
Upon their arrival, both Frank and Logan were captivated by the city's breathtaking setting and diverse architectural styles. "When arriving in Dubrovnik, the first thing I noticed was the beautiful scenery and the difference in styles of homes, restaurants, and beaches," Frank recalls. Logan adds, "The campus was incredibly small compared to the main campus back home, but the location just next to the Old Town, surroundings, and the building itself were beautiful."
Their initial cultural observations highlighted the nuances of daily life in Croatia, from the practice of low-tipping to the seamless blend of locals and tourists. Despite these differences, both students embraced the opportunity to immerse themselves in a new culture.
Frank was drawn to Dubrovnik's allure as a small city with plenty of opportunities for cultural immersion. "Coming from RIT in Rochester, I had the opportunity to study in many countries, but what made me choose Dubrovnik, Croatia was the small school in a small city, allowing me to immerse myself in the culture," he shares. On the other hand, Logan's decision was more spontaneous, driven by a curiosity to experience Balkan culture firsthand.
In navigating their daily routines, both students discovered the importance of embracing local customs and building genuine connections. "If you are looking to study in Croatia, it is important to get ahead on assignments for classes, so that you get to relax and get the full experience of living in Croatia," advises Frank. Logan emphasizes authenticity: "The best advice I could give would be to genuinely be yourself and don’t try to create any facade."
Their time in Dubrovnik was marked by memorable experiences, from spontaneous barbecues to exploring hidden beaches and hiking trails. Despite initial challenges such as adjusting to time zones and organizing travel documents, both students found solace in the supportive community and the spirit of adventure.
Academically, the RIT Croatia experience offered a change from the structured environment of their home campus. "School is very different in Dubrovnik compared to the United States... Classes are normally informal, but personal, where some professors may take the entire class to grab a coffee and do the lecture outside the classroom if the weather allows," Frank notes. Logan appreciates flexibility: "Each professor is very accepting of if you miss an extra day for travel, just keep in touch ahead of time, keep up with your work, and participate in class."
Reflecting on their journey, both Frank and Logan gained valuable insights into global perspectives and personal growth. "This trip has given me a great global perspective on how business is done and how to connect with people you may not have a whole lot in common with," reflects Frank. Logan finds personal growth: "It’s been great to just not take life so seriously and I hope to bring that energy back home."
In conclusion, the Global Scholar experience at RIT Croatia's Dubrovnik campus offers students like Frank and Logan a transformative journey of discovery, fostering academic growth, cultural immersion, and lifelong friendships. As they bid farewell to Dubrovnik in December 2023, their memories and lessons learned will continue to resonate, guiding them on their journey of personal and academic fulfillment.
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