Thursday, May 23, 2013

Student life: Partners for progress at SAIS Bologna

Caitlin Geraghty has spent the past 10 months in Bologna with her financé, Matthew Conn. Like Paige, Michael and Ada Anderson last year, Caitlin and Matt have both thrived here while Matt studies for his SAIS M.A. Below she discusses what it is like to come to Bologna as the partner of a student.


That was the text message my fiancé, Matt, sent me in April 2012 after he learned he had been admitted to SAIS Bologna.

My response: “WHAT????????”

A million thoughts ran through my mind. "THIS IS GOING TO BE AWESOME!" Then reality set in.

Priscilla and Caitlin
at the Greek amphitheater at Segreto, Sicily ...
"I have to quit my job," I thought. "I have to say goodbye to my friends and family for a year. What am I going to do there while Matt is studying? Will I make friends? Will I get bored? Aarrgghhh!"

As I wrap up my last week as a SAIS spouse in Bologna, I can look back at this year and say I have had the time of my life. My worries were valid, but I could not be happier that I came to Italy.

I have traveled to 12 countries, made friends who will last a lifetime and had some of the best experiences of my life.

I became part of the SAIS community and felt welcomed from all angles. I have been treated just the same as full-time students -- only I have not had to worry about that whole "school work" thing.

... while Simon and Matt
study for final exams.
In the past 10 months I have taken Italian classes; been a member of a cappella singing group; participated in the "Vagina Monologues"; taken dance classes; played in football, volleyball and kickball tournaments, and celebrated a variety of international holidays. I became part of the SAIS community and immediately felt as though I belonged.

I have not only made friends with students but also bonded with the other spouses. I just returned from a week-long trip to Sicily with Priscilla Tran: we ditched our men while they studied hard for finals.

If you are a potential SAIS spouse and you’re questioning whether you should come to Bologna, the answer is YES!

Caitlin Geraghty

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