An American NYU student who studied in Italy for a semester has sparked controversy after describing how she hated every aspect of her time abroad.
Among those who commented on the essay by Stacia Datskovska, published by Insider on March 9, was infamous exchange student Amanda Knox, who joked: ‘Girl, what are you talking about? Studying abroad is awesome!’
Knox, 35, made international headlines after she was accused of killing her roommate, a fellow exchange student, while also studying abroad in Italy.
She spent four years in an Italian prison before eventually being acquitted.
Datskovska wrote that although she had high hopes for her semester in Florence, she hated her seven roommates, ‘hostile’ locals and her online internship.
She said she ‘grew to despise the sights, hated the people, and couldn’t wait to get back home to my campus in New York.’
Journalism and international relations student Stacia Datskovska described in an essay published by Insider how she had a terrible time studying abroad in Florence
Amanda Knox, who also had a bad time studying abroad, commented on Datskovska’s essay
Knox suggested that ‘studying abroad is awesome’ in a tweet on Tuesday evening
Datskovska’s essay elicited a whole range of reactions – some people seemed to empathize with her struggles while others accused her of being entitled for failing to enjoy the luxuries of studying abroad.
One person tweeted her story with the caption, ‘no self-awareness’, while another said, ‘when your study abroad program isn’t exactly like the tiktok that shaped your perception of reality.’
Journalism and international relations student Datskovska described how she had high hopes before embarking on her trip and looked forward to living minutes away from the famous Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore.
‘But when my semester in Florence came to an end, I grew to despise the sights, hated the people, and couldn’t wait to get back home to my campus in New York,’ she wrote.
Not only was she unable to enjoy the city because she was working to keep her GPA up, Datskovska was also enrolled on an online internship, which she said took most of her spare time.
Making matters worse for the student was that her peers were constantly making weekend visits to places like Amsterdam and Ibiza, which she described as ‘a vain form of escapism’.
Instead, she wanted to plan her life after graduation and embark on more thoughtful trips. Therefore, she traveled alone to Nice, Switzerland, London, Malta and Dubai.
One person tweeted her story with the caption, ‘no self-awareness’, while another said, ‘when your study abroad program isn’t exactly like the tiktok that shaped your perception of reality’
While in Florence Datskovska was staying just minutes away from the famous Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (pictured)
In particular Datskovska did not like the way she was treated by locals, who she said would ‘roll their eyes’ as she walked past them
One element of the semester abroad that caused her particular angst was the way she was received by the people of Florence.
‘I could provide concrete examples of them being hostile, inconsiderate, and preposterous,’ she wrote.
‘One time, two women were talking about me on the bus, looking at me up and down and scoffing,’ she added. ‘The Italians rolled their eyes as I passed them on the street.’
Datskovska also felt her time aboard was not satisfactorily advancing her career. She was dismayed to discover that while she squandered time in Florence her peers were making the most of their opportunities back in New York.
‘I was consistently frustrated by the fact that my life back in New York was not put on hold. Fellow NYU students who stayed in New York were actively pursuing in-person internships, networking with zeal, and making moves to advance their futures,’ she wrote.
Knox also had a terrible time studying abroad back when she was just 20-years-old. She was charged with the 2007 killing of her roommate Meredith Kercher but due to a lack of evidence, later acquitted.
Leeds University student Kercher, 21, was found stabbed to death with her throat slashed in her bedroom of the apartment she shared with Knox in the Italian hilltop town of Perugia.
Meredith Kercher was killed just three months after moving to Italy to study in Perugia in 2007
The house in Perugia, Italy, in which Kercher was killed and in which she lived with Knox
Rudy Guede, pictured in 2007, is the only person to have been convicted over Kercher’s murder. He was freed from prison after 13 years
Knox was convicted of killing Kercher with her then-lover Raffaele Sollecito . They are pictured reuniting in Italy 15 years after they were arrested
Knox, who was 20 at the time, and her Italian boyfriend Sollecito, then 23, were arrested four days later as prosecutors alleged the murder was part of a sex game gone awry.
They were convicted of raping and killing Kercher twice in Italian court. The couple spent nearly four years in prison before their convictions were overturned due to a lack of any evidence linking them to the crime.
A court ruling ordered the Italian state to pay Knox $21,000 in damages.
Rudy Guede, 34, was instead found guilty after his DNA was discovered on Kercher’s body despite his claims that he was in the bathroom listening to music when she was killed.
He was freed from prison after serving 13 years of a 30-year term.