Sydney Hassing ’23, Inver Grove Heights, Minn.
Majors: Finance and Business Management

How did you hear about Concordia and why did you choose to attend college here?

I had a counselor in high school that recommended checking out Concordia based on my preferences for college — smaller school, good community, and relationships with the professors. So I went to different events on campus to visit and met great future Cobbers and got to see the community on campus, which ended up helping me choose Concordia.

You are involved in Women in Business and the Entrepreneurship Club. Please tell us about those student organizations.

I have loved my time in both clubs because it is a great way to meet other Cobbers with similar interests and provides a space to learn about new areas. In addition, both clubs are a great way to hear from businesses in the community and learn about opportunities.

What led you to study away in Florence, Italy?

I knew I wanted to study somewhere in Europe because it’s easy to travel between countries and because the semesters line up nicely with Concordia. I chose Florence because I love pasta so I wanted to experience that, and they also offered some specific classes I was looking for that would transfer back nicely.

What was your favorite course and why?

My favorite course was my current trends in Italian cuisine cooking class. The class took place in the Florence Central Market and tourists would come by and watch us, which made me feel like I was a professional chef or something. We made a wide variety of dishes, and it was unique to learn about how they shop for and use food differently than we do here.

What was the best part about studying away?

My favorite thing while studying away was the variety of activities I got to do and the number of places I could visit. It was easier to travel between different countries, so it was fun to visit new places and often with new people I had met abroad.

What was the most challenging part about studying away?

The most challenging part for me was trying to fit in all the things I wanted to do or places I wanted to visit. It was hard to have a relaxing afternoon because of how many cool things there were to see, so I had to balance the activities and make sure I had some relaxing time to recharge.

Would you do anything differently?

Because of COVID, study away was not offered for a few semesters and it was hard to plan for anything because of the unknown programs. But I would have preferred to study away a year earlier and been able to design more of my classes around it. Everything worked out, but it could have been better to know further in advance to figure out what courses I could take abroad so I would know which ones I should be taking at Concordia.

What did you miss the most about Concordia and Fargo-Moorhead?

I missed the people most — my family and friends from the area. While I did miss the people, with technology now it was easy to Facetime and text so that makes it easier.

Any advice for someone who is considering studying away?

Start looking early; it is much easier to plan classes if you look further in advance. Because of COVID, it was a bit tricky with programs and courses up in the air, so make sure to give yourself enough time. The Global Learning Office also utilizes a checklist system. Even though some parts may seem unnecessary initially, they all help you have a fantastic study away experience.

Published April 2023