Introduction – Italy Study Abroad Spring 2018

My name is Kristiana Nasto and I have three things for you today: an introduction/rant, a lesson about perseverance, and a quick request.


Yes, my name is spelled with a “K”, followed by a long combination of letters (thanks to my Albanian parents) and no Starbucks barista has ever written it right. Regardless, that will not stop me from spelling it for them, with the hope that they will get my name right one day. Perseverance is a quality that I do possess and you would expect to see it in a Pre-Med student. I am a senior majoring in Biomedical Sciences and in one week I will leave for Italy to study Global Perspectives on Mental Illness and Treatment in Florence.


I moved to the US from Albania three years ago and I have absolutely enjoyed my time here, especially at USF. I feel as if my life right now is all around USF, since I study here, I live here, and I work here as a Physics tutor. Being a full-time student and working doesn’t allow for much free time; however, I still manage to get involved around campus. I am actively pursuing the Global Citizen Award, I am a Social Justice Peer Educator and I volunteer weekly at Moffitt Cancer Center.

I am not going to list my hobbies and all the things I enjoy in life but I will mention the two most relevant ones: traveling and reading. I truly believe that every time I visit a new country and interact with people in a different setting, I learn more about myself and my goals. This is my first time studying abroad and the main reason why I chose this program is because as a pre-med student, I expect to get the necessary background in behavioral healthcare. The second reason has to do with the fact that I am a bookworm. I am a great fan of all Dan Brown`s novels (which still rank lower than Harry Potter in my all-time-favorites list) and while reading Inferno I vividly visualized all the monuments described in Florence, especially Palazzo Vecchio. As soon as I learned that this program was based on Florence, I knew it was my opportunity to visit everything I had read about in books and why not practice that little Italian that I studied in high school.

My rant came to an end and I haven’t forgotten that I promised a lesson about perseverance. In short, I wrote the introduction paragraphs a week ago and I mentioned how no barista ever spelled my name correctly. Well, yesterday morning I picked up my latte before going to work and, lucky me, I finally saw my name spelled right. Perseverance!

As for my request, please suggest me a good bakery in Florence because someone`s birthday (mine!) is going to be during the trip and they (me!) cannot celebrate without a good chocolate cake.

Alla prossima,


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