My unforgettable study abroad semester at RIT


My name is Arijana Čemeljić and I'ma sophomore year student. I'm an International Hospitality and Service management; born in Zagreb, and studying in Dubrovnik, Croatia.


Ever since I enrolled at RIT Croatia, I knew there was an opportunity to study abroad. The US has always been my dream, New York specifically. I thought we had to wait until the 3rd year in order to apply for the exchange opportunity between RIT campuses, however, it turned out to be much faster. I applied for this opportunity in the fall semester of my 2nd year because I was impatient and wanted to come to Rochester campus this spring.

Studying abroad was one of the best decisions I made. It completely changed the way I look at life. I became more independent, productive, reliable and definitely more outgoing. In a sense, I feel like all of a sudden, I grew up. Studying abroad truly taught me to rely on myself and embrace my differences, because it doesn't matter what people say. The bottom line is - you can't make everyone happy, so do whatever feels right for you. I would (and I will) recommend studying abroad as it is an experience that no one can take away from you.

The best thing about RIT campus are definitely the people. Everyone I met was so friendly and approachable. We are all different individuals, but here, where there are over 18,000 people, I'm positive you'll findsomeone who will embrace your weird J. I met so many incredible individuals and I already know that most of those friendships are going to last. Let's not forget about my awesome professors! It was such a pleasure meeting all of them. They are so easygoing, helpful and always there to answer any questions. Also, everyone is very organized. Our syllabus has the entire schedule posted for each day of class and our final exams are already set. I am the type of student who needs organization, otherwise the stress can be overwhelming and then I start losing myself in all my assignments.

The one thing I will miss the most from Rochester are brunches in downtown! I got to visit so many adorable cafés in downtown Rochester where the food and the company were both great! There are some cute spots to take photos downtown, including the George Eastman museum, entire Park Ave and those fun diners near campus.

When it comes to classes at Rochester campus, we are given plenty of time towork on our assignments and chose topics that actually matter to us. Group work is amazing, because we evenly distribute the project according to individual strengths. We chose who we want to work with and who will do which part. You can be sure that everyone will do their part of the job. Professors are more laid back and while they're always there to help, they are strict enough to set a due date and stick to it. It is entirely up to the student to take responsibility and make up for any missed classes. Overall, I think that everything is well organized and everyone sticks to the schedule. I cannot decide which class is/was my favorite. I enjoyed all my classes this semester and had great classmates. My hospitality classes were probably the ones where I learned the most about working with people, planning events, etc. I guess I enjoyed those a lot since I love my major.

When it comes to food, Chipotle was my favorite place to be - all day, every day! In all seriousness, I got to try some new recipes here that I am thinking of recreating back home. It is possible to maintain your fitness and eat healthy in US, despite of what people say. I'm a food junkie myself and I can always go for some pizza, but it's good to have some balance. I can honestly say that I overindulged in doughnuts, hot subs and pizza hut, but I also enjoyed salads, smoothies and fresh fruits.

RIT Croatia. Different from Day 1.

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