Amy Schoenburg in Italy

“We might be in a certain environment where we’re surviving, but if we just stay in that one environment we never know how big we can grow.” — Amy Schoenberg 

Amy currently holds the title of longest guest living abroad having spent 13 years in Italy, and she started at a community college. If you’ve ever thought about actually moving to a different country this interview is perfect for you.

Now back in the Chicagoland, Amy is the Study Abroad Coordinator at Governors State University.

To be be honest, I had never heard of Governors State before I reached to interview Amy, but having gone to a smaller school my self,  I know that there is always some interesting little fact that comes along with the school, or an area that they particularly excel at. Here is what makes Governors State unique:

  • 51% of Governors State’s students are minorities
  • The average student is 32.4 years old
  • 69.9% of Governors State students are women

It must be a great place because Amy “loves her job.”

In every interview I ask the question: “what advice would you give to someone who is on the bubble about studying abroad?” and Amy gave an answer in the form of a metaphor which is one of the best I’ve heard, yet. 

Quote Amy would like to leave you with:

Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we find it not — Ralph Waldo Emerson




  • Off to Italy from a community college [1:40]
  • What inspired Amy to study abroad and why she chose Italy [6:15]
  • What it was like living in Rome [8:07]
  • Why Amy decided to come back to the United States  [12:27]
  • Witnessing a bus full of pick pockets [14:00]
  • Trip to Uruguay [15:21]
  • Prosciutto sausage, pastas, and Roman broccoli  [17:18]
  • Do you want to grow? [19:03]
  • The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho [22:13]

Statistics on Pickpockets [Infographic]

Guess what? I write, too. If you want to give your ears a rest and exercise your eyes, check out The Study Ablog for some well researched, int’l education journalism. It’s not just another travel blog, I promise.