Center for International Programs, Biology

Fortunately, Kylie Hilborne '25 never had to explain herself to the Italian authorities. In fact, her trespassing turned out to be no more than a memorable story. It's the night her B&B stay in Pisa began as an unlawful B&E. 

Kylie Tower of Piza
Kylie with the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

When Kylie finished finals in the fall, she left Siena for... Siena. The freshman biology major took a three-credit course in Italian immigration and emigration through Siena International Studies, as well as a one-credit Italian language course in Siena, Italy. The J-Term (January term) is, as Kylie describes it, a chance to dip your toes in international waters before making the full commitment to spending months in a foreign country. 

Kylie's strange night in Pisa began as an ordinary tourist experience, fun with perspective at the Leaning Tower (left). Kylie and her six classmates/travel companions had made previous arrangements to spend the night at a B&B. They followed the owner's instructions when they arrived and let themselves in. They made dinner, took showers, and settled in for the night. Until... there was a knock the door. Turns out, they had booked a stay at the house next door, and had inadvertently made themselves at home in the wrong home.   

"Even with the language barrier, I'm grateful to the homeowner for being so understanding! We laughed it off, moved our stuff, and continued to have an amazing night playing music, eating pasta, laughing in a B&B in Pisa. By that night, I had only known the girls I was with for a little over a week and this moment brought us so close together. It was a night I will treasure and remember forever." 

"If you have a chance to travel, take it! If you're anxious to travel for a whole semester, go on a J-Term or summer term. I am a first-year student, and I was able to have this opportunity because I just went for it. If you are unsure, make an appointment and talk to someone in the Study Abroad office. They can answer all of your questions and help with any concerns. Making an appointment is not making a commitment to going abroad!

Do it for you. This is your time and your chance to explore the world and go anywhere your heart desires. Experiences like this are rare, but Siena gives you the opportunity... so go for it!"

Kylie Hilborne '25