Amy Schoenburg in Italy

“We might be in a certain environment where we’re surviving, but if we just stay in that one environment we never know how big we can grow.” — Amy Schoenberg 

Amy currently holds the title of longest guest living abroad having spent 13 years in Italy, and she started at a community college. If you’ve ever thought about actually moving to a different country this interview is perfect for you.

Now back in the Chicagoland, Amy is the Study Abroad Coordinator at Governors State University.

To be be honest, I had never heard of Governors State before I reached to interview Amy, but having gone to a smaller school my self,  I know that there is always some interesting little fact that comes along with the school, or an area that they particularly excel at. Here is what makes Governors State unique:

  • 51% of Governors State’s students are minorities
  • The average student is 32.4 years old
  • 69.9% of Governors State students are women

It must be a great place because Amy “loves her job.”

In every interview I ask the question: “what advice would you give to someone who is on the bubble about studying abroad?” and Amy gave an answer in the form of a metaphor which is one of the best I’ve heard, yet. 

Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we find it not — Ralph Waldo Emerson


  • Off to Italy from a community college [1:40]
  • What inspired Amy to study abroad and why she chose Italy [6:15]
  • What it was like living in Rome [8:07]
  • Why Amy decided to come back to the United States  [12:27]
  • Witnessing a bus full of pick pockets [14:00]
  • Trip to Uruguay [15:21]
  • Prosciutto sausage, pastas, and Roman broccoli  [17:18]
  • Do you want to grow? [19:03]
  • The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho [22:13]

Statistics on Pickpockets [Infographic]

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