Education abroad has become a very popular avenue over the past century for college students from the United States to be immersed in a culture different from their own and experience significant growth, personally and professionally. Italy is a country that has a culture different from that of America and the contrast becomes even more evident after time abroad. United States citizens desire immediate satisfaction and this desire is accompanied through services such as drive-thrus, delivery services, and online shopping. Americans also often revolve their food experience around quantity and speed at which it is served. Italians, on the other hand, focus their lifestyle around quality and experience, also reflecting this into their food behaviors, influencing Italians to consume a diet that is more generally healthy compared to Americans.

Not only does education abroad impact college students generally, but it also has a specific impact on dietetic college students that travel to Italy. Dietetic students, pursuing the credential of Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), are taught about how to optimally care for and counsel clients through the entire realm of nutrition. These students are not only receiving the personal and professional growth that comes with studying internationally, but they are also learning in a country that has a strong food culture centered around quality social experiences and the consumption of whole, fresh foods. For these reasons, education abroad should be considered as an integral part of undergraduate curriculum for universities in the United States that offer an accredited dietetics program.

Semester/Year of Award

Spring 2023


Dr. Rachel Harrington

Mentor Department Affiliation

Applied Human Sciences

Access Options

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level



Applied Human Sciences