An American New York University student who studied in Italy for a semester has sparked controversy after describing how she hated every aspect of her time abroad.
Among those commenting on an essay by NYU student Stacia Datskovska, published by Insider on March 9, was the infamous exchange student Amanda Knox, who quipped, “Girl, what are you talking about? Studying abroad is amazing!’
Knox, 35, made international headlines after she was accused of killing her roommate, an exchange student, while she was also studying abroad in Italy. She spent four years in an Italian prison before finally being acquitted.
In her essay, Datskovska wrote that although she had high hopes for her semester in Florence, she hated her seven roommates, the ‘unfriendly’ locals, and her online internship.
Datskovska said that she “grew to despise the sights, hated the people, and couldn’t wait to get back to my campus in New York.”
Journalism and international relations student Stacia Datskovska described in an essay published by Insider how she had a terrifying time studying abroad in Florence.
Amanda Knox, who also had a hard time studying abroad, commented on Datskovska’s essay
Knox suggested that “studying abroad is awesome” in a tweet Tuesday night.
Datskovska’s essay provoked a wide range of reactions: some people seemed to empathize with her struggles, while others accused her of being entitled to not enjoy the luxuries of studying abroad.
One person tweeted their story with the caption “no self-awareness,” while another said, “when your study abroad program isn’t exactly like the tiktok that shaped your perception of reality.”
Journalism and international relations student Datskovska described how she had high hopes before embarking on her journey and wanted to live minutes from the famous Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore.
“But when my semester in Florence ended, I began to despise the sights, hated the people, and couldn’t wait to get back to my campus in New York,” he wrote.
Not only was she unable to enjoy the city because she was working to keep her GPA up, but Datskovska also signed up for an online internship, which she said took up most of her free time.
To make matters worse for the student, her classmates were constantly making weekend visits to places like Amsterdam and Ibiza, which she described as “a vain form of escapism.”
Instead, he wanted to plan his life after graduation and embark on more thoughtful journeys. She therefore traveled alone to Nice, Switzerland, London, Malta and Dubai.
While in Florence, Datskovska stayed just a few minutes from the famous Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (pictured)
In particular, Datskovska did not like the way she was treated by the locals, who, according to her, rolled their eyes when she walked past them.
One element of the semester abroad that caused her particular distress was the way she was received by the people of Florence.
“I could give concrete examples of how hostile, inconsiderate and ridiculous they are,” he wrote.
“Once two women were talking about me on the bus, looking me up and down and making fun of me,” he added. The Italians rolled their eyes when I passed them on the street.
Datskovska also felt that her time on board was not advancing her career satisfactorily. She was dismayed to discover that while she was wasting time in Florence, her classmates were making the most of her opportunities in New York.
“I was constantly frustrated that my life in New York was not put on hold. Fellow NYU students who stayed in New York were actively seeking in-person internships, enthusiastically networking, and taking action to advance their futures,” she wrote.
Knox also had a hard time studying abroad when she was only 20 years old. She was charged with the 2007 murder of her roommate Meredith Kercher, but due to lack of evidence, she was later acquitted.
Leeds University student Kercher, 21, was found stabbed to death with her throat slit in her bedroom in the apartment she shared with Knox in the Italian hilltop town of Perugia.
Meredith Kercher was murdered just three months after moving to Italy to study in Perugia in 2007.
The house in Perugia, Italy, where Kercher was killed and where he lived with Knox.
Rudy Guede, pictured in 2007, is the only person convicted of Kercher’s murder. He was released from prison after 13 years.
Knox was found guilty of killing Kercher with her then-lover Raffaele Sollecito. In the photo, they meet in Italy 15 years after his arrest.
Knox, who was 20 at the time, and her Italian boyfriend Sollecito, then 23, were arrested four days later when prosecutors alleged the murder was part of a sex game gone wrong.
They were convicted of raping and killing Kercher twice in an Italian court. The couple spent nearly four years in prison before their convictions were overturned due to a lack of evidence linking them to the crime.
A court ruling ordered the Italian state to pay Knox $21,000 in damages.
Instead, Rudy Guede, 34, was found guilty after his DNA was discovered on Kercher’s body despite his claims that he was in the bathroom listening to music when she was killed.
He was released from prison after serving 13 years of a 30-year term.