Student Dispatch: Post-Pandemic, Students Return to Studying Abroad

Dec. 21, 2022

By Anna Chung ’24

Published in the December 2022 issue of Princeton Alumni Weekly

Ben Fasciano was originally set to graduate with Princeton’s Class of 2021. Now, in the fall of 2022, he is finishing up his last semester of college in Milan, Italy.

“It’s a little bit of a strange situation,” said Fasciano.

This is his second time at Bocconi University, but it will be the first full semester he will complete there. At the height of the pandemic in the spring of 2020, Fasciano was one of 160 Princeton students studying abroad who had to be recalled from universities around the world. All programs were put on pause through the summer of 2021.

Since then, Fasciano has taken one and a half gap years, and after another last-minute cancellation this past spring, he has finally returned to Milan to finish what he started. At Bocconi, Fasciano is continuing his studies in the economics department. Having completed his senior thesis and all but one of his departmentals, he says he feels a lot more freedom this time around to explore the city, practice his Italian, and travel around Europe.

Like Fasciano, many students abroad have had to grapple with pandemic-related obstacles. But Princeton’s study abroad programs are on their way to a complete return, with 43 students abroad this fall, according to Gisella Gisolo, director of the study abroad office. The gradual return began in the fall of 2021 with three students in Hungary and Denmark, and continued last spring, when 19 undergrads participated in the Semesters in the Field program at the University’s Mpala Research Centre in central Kenya.

To read the full article, visit the Princeton Alumni Weekly website.