University student roasted online for hot take on studying abroad in Italy

Mar 15 2023, 5:39 pm

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.

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.

“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.

Others pointed out that the student’s experience as a white woman pales in comparison to people of colour.

However, there were some readers that agreed with her take.

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.

“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.”

What do you think of Datskovska’s take?

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