Allison Grier
Wednesday, February 13, 2019
By Allison Grier (BBA20)

I arrived in Paderno del Grappa, the town where CIMBA is located, around 4:30PM on Monday. Immediately after getting off the bus, we were instructed to pick up our welcome packets, drop off our things in our rooms, and attend our first welcome orientation meeting. When I walked into the room, there were many students both from Iowa and other colleges across the nation including University of Nebraska, University of Minnesota, and Purdue to name a few. Everyone was super friendly and excited to meet their potential travel partners. After dinner, I settled into my new home for the next three months. My room has everything it needs: a desk, bed, and my own bathroom. I decorated a wall with some pictures of family and friends to look at if I ever get homesick.

The next morning, the entire group attended another orientation to meet the faculty and get a better idea of the life and rules as a CIMBA student. Afterwards we were sent off to our first day of classes. All of my professors are really interesting and I am excited to learn more from their business backgrounds. Most interestingly, my consumer behavior professor is a marketing professional for a large sporting gear company in the area. She has lots of real-life examples and is originally from Italy. The rest of the week included attending class, a two-day workshop about problem solving and decision making using the Kepner-Tregoe method, and the Da Vinci Challenge, which consisted of team-building activities, learning to trust and getting to know others in the group.

During breaks, friends and I took opportunities to explore the town and community. Together, we walked to a local coffee shop, pizzeria, antique store, and, of course, a local gelato shop. I have made the effort to write down every kind of gelato I eat to be sure I try a new flavor every time.

Our first weekend, CIMBA chartered a bus to a neighboring city, Bassano del Grappa. Bassano is bigger than Paderno and has many activities around town. Arriving in Bassano early in the morning, we had time to explore the town square, sip on cappuccinos at a few cafes, take pictures of interesting architectural structures and Bassano’s famous bridge, as well as eat delicious Italian cuisine. Something interesting I learned from the trip, is that ‘Grappa’ is a type of liquor the area is well known for. Students were able to visit a museum of the town’s local manufacturer and taste test the different flavors and variations of the product they produced.

This short trip gave me confidence as we prepare to take our travels to bigger cities around Europe in the coming weeks. Next weekend I’ll be in Venice followed by Barcelona the next, always keeping in mind it’s the adventure of a lifetime.

If you're interested in other first person perspectives from Tippie students studying abroad, check out our Instagram Story "Q&A" highlight.