International Connections


Ambar Morales Cuadrado

Major: Dietetics/Nutritional Science

; Culinary Food Science

Year: Senior
Hometown, State: Aguadilla, Puerto Rico

Type of experience: Faculty-Led Program
Experience: For the Love of Italy and Food
Experience website: http://isuabroad.iastate.edu/?go=CHSItaly
Destination: Italy

Overall experience..
My trip to Italy was very wide opening and I learned a lot about what true Italian cuisine is. I would have never thought that there are many similarities between Hispanic and Mediterranean based foods, but I learned that they do during my study abroad. I fell in love with there way of simplicity and high quality of doing things in life. Italy was very beautiful and the perfect place to learn about cooking and nutrition.

I learned...
I learned about this study abroad through my academic adviser and my professor, which they were the advisors for the trip. I also had been researching on my own for programs that would align to my future goals and still give me an option to visit multiple places.

An impact to my life...
My study abroad brought me so many opportunities, like meeting new people. During the trip I found out I have been taking, and will take classes, with some of the people in my trip. I learned many cool culinary skills and methods that have been used in Italian culture for decades, like using whole garlic cloves and then removing them in the middle of cooking. My career goals have, also, been impacted because my vision has always been to have a business that can be an outlet for my creativity, while also having a media to broadcast diversity so everyone can enjoy the food I create. With the Italian recipes that I learned they are so beneficial to my goal of opening my own business.

I will never forget...
My most memorable experience was the first day of cooking classes that we had in Florence with the Lorenzo De Medici Institute chefs. We made pork medallions, pasta with crispy pieces of pork, and almond biscotti. With all this we had the opportunity to learn how to plate it just like a fancy restaurant and learn about the wine pairings for each plate. It was an amazing experience and I learned a lot from the chef.

Advice for others...
My advice to other students would be to research a lot about the place you want to go, it is a great way to prepare yourself to what you are signing up to and it decreases your chances of not liking the place you will visit. Also, that way you won’t leave the country regretting places you weren’t able to go. Lastly, save the places you visited in google maps, because you never know when you will want to come back!

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