Dr. Phyllis Ngai
Michaela Niva’s Experience in Italy
It had always been a dream of mine to live abroad so during a gap year between my freshman and sophomore year of college, I decided to make it happen. I saved up my money, found a job in Rome as an Au Pair and moved. Although I was working while abroad, I still made a point to explore and learn as much as I could about Rome and the history of the ancient city. While I did learn a lot about the Roman Empire and the ancient world, my eyes were also opened to the many social issues that were present at the time. I was living in Rome in 2016, during the height of the refugee crisis and the struggles were visible.I had always been interested in learning about the refugee crisis and addressing the problems but seeing them with my own eyes changed my purpose.
Traveling and experiencing real-world issues like this firsthand induced me to act. I left Rome 6 months earlier than planned to finish up my college degree in something that could hopefully help address the issues I witnessed. When I came to the Undiversity of Montana and learned there was an IDS minor, I was overjoyed because that perfectly lined up with my goals and interests. I have always known that I wanted to help people when I grew up and I know that pursuing my degree in IDS will afford me that opportunity. Traveling of any kind, whether it's for tourism or activism can change your worldview and inspire you to make the world a better place!
Above Image: Michaela Niva– Class of 2020 visiting Naples with a view of Mt. Vesuvius in the background.