University student roasted online for hot take on studying abroad in Italy
A New York University (NYU) student is being dragged by the internet for her controversial take on studying abroad.
Stacia Datskovska wrote an opinion piece for American publication Insider titled, “I’m an NYU student who studied abroad in Florence. I hated every aspect of my semester abroad.”
The article was published on the site on March 9 but seemingly went viral on Tuesday after Amanda Knox — who famously spent four years in an Italian prison after a wrongful murder conviction while studying abroad — retweeted it with a tongue-in-cheek caption.
“Girl, what are you talking about? Studying abroad is awesome!” Knox tweeted.
Girl, what are you talking about? Studying abroad is awesome!https://t.co/xlEgCKTzqg
— Amanda Knox (@amandaknox) March 15, 2023
This, for better or worse, brought attention to not just the headline of the article, but its divisive contents.
In the personal essay, Datskovska, who majors in journalism and international relations, lists the reasons why she “grew to despise the sights, hated the people, and couldn’t wait to get back home.”
The first negative was having seven roommates. She says that while they were out partying, she had a GPA and an online internship to keep up with.
“I wasn’t out partying; I was home working most of the time, and it became difficult to concentrate on my assignments,” wrote Datskovska.
She also felt “pressure” to travel on weekends.
“Since three-day weekends are the standard for NYU’s study-abroad programs, almost everyone chose to take $20 Ryanair flights to places like Croatia and Munich for Oktoberfest,” she wrote. “To me, this seemed like an exhausting form of escapism.”
Rounding out her list is the hostility she felt from Italians (“Two women were talking about me on the bus, looking at me up and down and scoffing”) and the fact that her life back in New York went on without her (“I felt like I was wasting precious time in Florence”).
The internet certainly had its fair share of reactions to this hot take.
“No self-awareness,” one person tweeted.
No self-awareness pic.twitter.com/Ib5oHVeZKl
— Monsieur Euro Podcaster (@CiaranDold) March 13, 2023
“When your study abroad program isn’t exactly like the tiktok that shaped your perception of reality,” another added, including the excerpt of what Datskovska thought her semester abroad would be like.
When your study abroad program isn’t exactly like the tiktok that shaped your perception of reality pic.twitter.com/y7ghK1HdAS
— ᴊᴏᴇ ❄️ (@traddingtonbear) March 14, 2023
Others pointed out that the student’s experience as a white woman pales in comparison to people of colour.
reading ‘why do the locals hate us’ from a white woman is hilarious given that my study abroad problems are just because of actual racism… https://t.co/VPQ2n6NnCK
— jesh (@thoughtsofjesh) March 15, 2023
I think it’s interesting that media outlets never ask first gen, working class, or students of color what it’s like to study abroad, because I think the answers would be vastly different than what we’re used to getting.
— Cassie Osei (@tropigalia) March 15, 2023
However, there were some readers that agreed with her take.
This girl is my hero. She both eviscerated Euro study abroad culture where upper middle class kids go to Italy and think they’ve “seen the world” AND revealed how much Europe actually sucks https://t.co/hlMgI7kJMa
— Saagar Enjeti (@esaagar) March 15, 2023
Not sharing because an undergrad should not be roasted by professors, but her piece does show what happens when study abroad experiences are built as tourist experiences and not as substantive learning opportunities.
— Ignacio M. Sánchez Prado (@isanchezprado) March 15, 2023
And many that thought Insider shouldn’t have published the article.
“The NYU study abroad essay is bad, but it’s dumb that everyone—especially journalists and other writers—are excoriating her instead the editors who knew exactly what they were doing,” tweeted one person.
The NYU study abroad essay is bad, but it’s dumb that everyone—especially journalists and other writers—are excoriating her instead the editors who knew exactly what they were doing.
— Neel V. Patel (@n_vpatel) March 15, 2023
“Writing means writing a ton of stuff that is stupid and short-sighted,” added another. “Most of us were lucky we got to make our mistakes quietly.”
Can we not crucify the NYU study abroad girl? Any good editor would have ripped her to shreds privately instead of exposing her to public humiliation. Writing means writing a ton of stuff that is stupid and short-sighted. Most of us were lucky we got to make our mistakes quietly
— Olivia Messer 🌙 (@OliviaMesser) March 15, 2023
now muting this! the number of people dragging her, and not Insider, is disappointing
— Dan Kois (@dankois) March 15, 2023
What do you think of Datskovska’s take?