JWU Student Blogs






I cooked for the Vice President of the Walt Disney Company today. #socool


My first time on tower of terror with JWU charlotte alumni Sarah Culver I have been waiting 11 years for this moment and it was worth the wait.




in cima al mondo

Ciao! I’m back again with more exciting stories for you all! I keep finding more reasons to fall in love with Italy and I can’t help but share them with you all. Just a few days ago, our beautiful excursion coordinator Audrey, took us to hike Mt. Vesuvius. In case some of you did not know, Mt. Vesuvius is the famous volcano that erupted in 79 A.D. burying the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. What made the hike even more exhilarating is the fact that Vesuvius is STILL an active volcano. Needless to say, some of us were quite scared it could erupt at any given moment! Thankfully, we made it! :)






At the top!

I feel like I am on top of the world! Well… Mount Vesuvius at least because I WAS!
I climbed/hiked MT VESUVIUS! I still can’t believe it!

As a group, a bunch of us and Audrey decided to hike up the Vesuvius and it was the perfect day to do it because the sun was the hottest I’ve seen it but not too hot either. To get to the volcano we had to hop on the train to Ercolano, which took about 20 minutes. Right when we stepped out the train station on our right there was the bus company that shuttles tourists to the volcano. The shuttle costs 20 Euros round trip.

On our way up, we conversed with our bus driver, Antonio, as well as pick a good radio station to listen to. The drive up was quite a sight and very curvy.

WE’RE HERE: It’s 2PM we have until 3:30 PM to walk up and down that volcano. As we entered there were vendors handing out walking canes up the mountain and as the tourists we are, we each took one. It made it look as if we’d been trekking for days. The vendor said it’s free, but if you would like to leave a tip on the way back when you return it, it is welcomed.

Our journey has begun: Oh my God! I am out of breath. I am incredibly out of shape; the incline on that volcano is serious! I would be lying if I said I didn’t stop a few times but I kept thinking the next step because I’m dying of curiosity of what’s on the top! The trail was in a zigzag fashion with again, a great amount of incline. When I stopped I looked around and gazed into the sea, the towns maybe trying to find something I recognized but I was too far up that everything seemed miniature. But what a beauty of a sight no less.
At the crater we started to pose and catch our breath. It took about 30 mins to walk up, then as the generation we are in we took lots of pictures. I’ve learned that pictures of all the wondrous things I’ve seen so far abroad does not suffice through a picture. A picture cannot capture all of what I am seeing. It doesn’t capture the Sun’s full effect, the Wind’s breeze, the clouds sailing. A picture doesn’t do Beauty any justice. Now, aside from my love of the elements, I was surprised that there were little souvenirs shops along way, although I shouldn’t be so surprised it’s all about business.

The crater had more too it, yes it was on big whole but there were gases being released, and surprisingly enough, there was even a patch of snow too! To continue, as the curious cat that I am along with Jackie, we walked around 3/4th of the crater. I honestly was expecting there to be lava but I didn’t realize that a dormant volcano didn’t have lava…

The walk up was amazing and strenuous and the way down was harder because we had to watch our for all rocks down. We were on a mission to catch our bus because it was 3:08 when we started our way down. Luckily we made it! After it all, I was so proud of myself. It’s an amazing view and such an accomplishment. I really enjoyed myself and I’m planning on taking advantage of more nature based adventures.

The bus ride back, we met Roberto, who is Antonio’s son! Conversing with him was more challenging but nonetheless fun. The challenge gives us more reason to learn the language from both sides.

Shahina Ghanie





Untitled: Cantina Del Vesuvio








Fun London

At the Top

At the top!





As I started writing my second blog, I realized that we have been in Italy for almost a month, and here we are going on our second excursion. I was really looking forward to go to winery this week since I have never been to one before, however I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy it as much as everyone else in my group since I never had alcohol before due to my religion. Regardless, I can say that I was very happy and pleased that I went to the winery because I enjoyed my time just as much as everyone else. What I enjoyed the most was learning about the different types of wine and its production.

The winery that we went to is named “Cantina del Vesuvio”, which is run by Maurizio Russo, who took after his fathers footsteps Giovanni, who was the founder, of the winery back in 1951. Cantina del Vesuvio is located in the municipality of Trecase in the region of Naples. What I found fascinating about this winery was its location and the production; since it’s located in the center of the Vesuvius National Park, which is located in the highest level for vegetation with volcanic soil. Maurizio was very kind enough to give us a tour of the winery while explaining the different types of wine. He told us that for each different type of wine there is, there is a different way of production; for example I didn’t know that red grapes need to be exposed to the sun while white grapes should not be exposed to the sun. For white grapes it’s important for leaves to cover the white grapes.

After learning about the production and bottling of the wine, we were headed to have an amazing three-course lunch in the winery. Each course came with a different type of wine; as you can see in the picture the first course was appetizer with freshly baked bread, salami, bruschetta, organic tomatoes, and extra virgin olive oil, which was served with white wine. Our second course was spaghetti with basil and homemade tomato sauce, (the sauce was made from fresh ingredients and it was just perfect), and they served that with red wine. Last but not least, we had traditional Napolitano Easter cake that was served with sparkling rose wine and apricot liqueur. You might think that I did not try any of the wine, but here I am describing the three-course meal and the wine type that went with each course! Going to the winery thought about different types of wine and how they being used to complement different meal or desert.

Thanks to Maurizio and his passion for what he does, I learned so much about wine and its production. One of the most important thing that I can say I learned from him was “ it’s not the quantity that is important, it’s the quality”. So therefore my friends always try to provide the best quality and not quantity because quality sells and quantity does not!!!


Shamila Aryan
















Our excursion this week had to be one of my most anticipated ones. I have always wanted to visit a winery and even more so in Italy. The Cantina Winery was smaller than I expected but still a wonderful experience. I had high hopes of seeing the grapes on the vines but unfortunately they are not in season. The owner of the Cantina has been keeping the family business in running but changed a few things. Instead of mass producing the wine, he decided to keep is small enough that him and his employees can concentrate on the wine making process. He did not want to rush and mass produce bad quality wine. I thought that was very interesting that he focuses on the quality not quantity. Another interesting fact about the Cantina was that they do not use chemicals and relay on the weather. The volcanic rocks from the Vesuvius when it erupted, give the water and nutrients that the grapevines need. After taking a tour of the field, we sat and had a wine tasting with delicious plates of cheese, bread with olive oil, pepperoni and ended the meal with spaghetti. The spaghetti was the best I have had so far. All of the ingredients were fresh from local farms, which is why it was so delicious. After stuffing our faces at the Cantina, we headed to Pompeii to get a guided tour of the ruins. While walking around, I could complete the missing pieces of the rooms or buildings in my imagination. The site was definitely worth it and interesting.



Sorrento, Italy

Swedish Fashion: Old and New

Today we set out to the Haga, old town, for a traditional Easter street fair. (Traditional street fair sounds so weird!) Down the main strip of the Haga were booths, food, musicians, and even traditional Swedish outfits!


After a brutal weekend of coats, scarves and boots trudging through feet of snow we can fit say it feels like spring in Providence! It’s already 4:30 and on my walk to campus the sun is shining and it’s perfect sweatshirt and Toms weather :)

And it’s supposed to snow Thursday, lets not even talk about it.















Get ready!

Alright fellow humans, the first few posts were just to get my feet wet. I’ve always been the type of person who prepared for great things.






Today was a class trip to the Ancient Roman City of Pompeii. Pompeii is located only twenty minutes from us and is a place which cannot be missed when you are visiting southern Italy. Pompeii was buried under Ash when Mt. Vesuvius erupted in 79AD and was lost and then rediscovered over 1500 years later in 1599.

In Pompeii you discover the many sections of the city which include homes that are both large and small. You discover shops and even places for take away food and beverages. There are private houses where extended families would live, one of which that we saw that had ten bedrooms, a kitchen (which was very uncommon to have), and a room with beautifully preserved frescoes. We also saw both the amphitheaters and then onto the public baths. It is interesting to think of how people lived 2000 years ago and so much has been rediscovered at this UNESCO world heritage site.

I would recommend a visit to this ancient city the next time you are in Southern Italy!!

Dale Silva



Cantina Del Vesuvio






To my fellow New Jerseyans and those familiar with Rita’s, there is one right near JWU! And not a lot of people are familiar with the free ice on the first day of spring so the lines are fairly short, and chances are all the plates in the parking lot are NJ and PA. So you don’t have to give up free ices when you come to JWU! I got cheesecake with chocolate custard, I felt like I was right back in Freehold NJ :)


I live off campus so I don’t have a meal plan but sometimes you just spend just too much time in the computer lab doing homework and you end up buying campus food for dinner and it just hits the spot.

World Culture Museum: Gothenburg

Today, we spent the afternoon at the World Culture Museum in Gothenburg.

It started with a tour from Johan, a very soft spoken man filled with information. Our first stop was the “Today In The World” exhibit which featured pictures taken on May 15th 2012 and submitted from all around the world.





On Wednesday, we went as a class to “La Fabbrica della Pasta di Gragnano,” this is to say the Pasta Factory of Gragnano. The factory itself was actually a relatively charming building despite the machinery and drying racks. The temperature, however, was much warmer than I had expected; I learned that high temperatures are necessary to properly and completely dry the pasta. In fact, La Fabbrica della Pasta claims that at the conclusion of the drying process, their pasta has only 10% water compared to the typical 20-30% of pasta made elsewhere.

The picture above is an old pasta stamp. While machines may have replaced some obsolete hand-tools, the process and materials used remain the same. According to our guide, the brass stamp (not plastic like that of many US pasta factories) is key to a successful pasta. I must say, I have tasted it and completely and whole-heartily agree.

- Dara Kate Barto



After touring La Fabbrica della Pasta, we visited the Slow Food facility to enjoy an incredible, locally-sourced meal. While everything that I ate was utterly delicious, my favourite part of lunch was the dancing that followed. We were all given musical instruments while the chef turned on traditional folk music. Everyone took part and danced, sang, and played instruments for what must have been an hour. I have never seen so many smiles nor heard such great laughs. It is incredible to think that we had to come all the way to Italy to fully enjoy and appreciate each other’s company.

-Dara Kate Barto

Passion, People, Pasta!

Passion, People, Pasta!






weekend adventure

We’ve reached the end of our first week in Gothenburg! Woohoo!


A fruit platter made on Saturday for Wildcat Weekend!


Ciao Italia

Everyday is a different day with different experiences. Today was one of those days that I will remember forever and I will be sharing the memories. Being in Italy for 13days I had pasta every day, which is just the beginning of journey and I have mix feeling of enjoyment and being scared at the same time. In those 13 days I have had many types of pasta with different shapes and flavors but today I got the chance to lean about the food I’m eating. Coming to Italy I knew pasta was a large part of the culture, so going to the pasta factory was something I was looking forward to. We had to wear lab coats and food safety gear to tour the factory and see how pasta was made. It was very interesting to see how workers took their job very serious and really cared for the quality of the pasta and not the quantity. They dried pasta in a very low temperature of (40*C), and they put them on the tray by hand and after putting them into packaging they would stamp them with the logo of the factory by hand. The great thing about the entire experience was knowing that this factory makes their pasta with the freshest local ingredients, a trend seen not only in the states but internationally as well.

Shamila Aryan



Denver, Denver! (In the tune of New York, New York)

My honest opinion is that this city is truly breathtaking. Coming from a person who completely uprooted herself and moved out of her home state, that statement probably has a little more weight to it. Denver has welcomed me with open arms, but more directly JWU Denver has welcomed me with open arms.

First Week

First week of work done at Le Cellier. I am learning a lot and finally getting settled into my new home. But, now I have two needed days off after my long week cannot wait to go to the parks and hopefully share new pictures. #JWUdisney








Hello! My name is Kindra Greenawalt. I am a senior at Johnson & Wales University studying International Hotel & Tourism Management. A unique component to this major is that it requires you to study abroad. So here I and 26 other students are spending the next two months in Castellammare di Stabia, Italy.





Fun Trip






One of the clubs here is called the Baking & Pastry Arts Club and one of the great things is we bring in guest speakers to do presentation and demos.

Tonight we had a decorator and owner from Sin Bakery here in Providence show us tips on fondant figures and tips on how to run a business. Today they made us a miniature bride and groom, don’t you think they’re adorable? I do! haha get it? Maybe I should stick to pastry…





First Group Trip In Italy







First Group Trip




Untitled: First Group Trip












That's Amore!

Ciao! My name is Tuyen and I am currently a junior studying abroad in Castellammare Di Stabia as part of IHTM! Today we went on our very first excursion to La Fabbrica Della Pasta (The Pasta Factory) in Gragnano. We had to wear coats and a hairnet as a safety policy since we were entering the production and packaging facility. Pamela, the factory worker, gave us a tour in Italian and meanwhile, Audrey (our excursion coordinator) translated it in English. During the factory tour, we learned the process of making pasta, drying and packaging it. The factory prides itself on producing pasta by imitating the old-fashion way, instead of industrial methods. They dry the pasta for 48 hours and is slowly dried at low temperatures until there’s only approximately 11% of water left so that it retains its flavor and form. After the drying process, the pasta is then packaged. There are 3 packaging machines: one for long pasta such as spaghetti and linguini, another for more common types of pasta, and lastly, for delicate pasta such as lasagna and shells. La Fabbrica Della Pasta is the first factory to produce gluten free pasta, using rice, corn and water. The factory has 121 different shapes of pasta with different names and produces approximately 20 tons of pasta per day! After the tour, we hand the opportunity to purchase the factory produced pasta! I purchased the “Lovers of Capri” named after its twisted form.









Sorrento, Italy

la vita e bella: pilot



Can’t complain about the view of Castellammare di Stabia and Mt. Vesuvius from the classroom at the Vesuvian Institute in Italy

Julia Blomqvist


I definitely haven’t been posting as much as I’ve wanted to on here recently, unfortunately I had a bit of a rough winter trimester but it’s over and it’s spring and with spring comes new beginnings!





The Journey Begins

The journey began on Thursday morning out of JFK airport on American Airlines. Our group of three connected in London, took a night tour and then landed in Naples, Italy on Friday morning. Feelings finally started to settle in when the unpacking began. Now things have started here in Castellammare di Stabia. We are all moved in and getting to know everything around us. After moving in and eating the great food the Vesuvian Institute has to offer, we explored the center of the city. In town we went to a local coffee shop and tasted an Italian Espresso. Later that night we experienced fireworks from our terrace, which were coming from the center of town.

Swedish Dinner Disaster

6 American girls, 3 trips to the grocery store, and a completely foreign kitchen. Yeah, that’ll definitely go well…right?

About that. After bonding with some of the girls, we decided to come back to the Annex (the apartment myself and 9 others girls share) and cook ourselves a full meal.


Friday in class we made this delicious looking lox! It will sit in the fridge and cure until next Friday when we can finally eat it!


A small snippet to the opportunities that this world has to offer. The world is yours to conquer. It’s time for me to start building my own castle. My previous experience and attending Johnson & Wales created a sturdy foundation. Now, Disney is my first brick to a masterpiece of a castle that will become reality. Many more to go, but im willing to work hard.

-Shaunice Stanley



Today was a busy and surreal day! We had traditions and learned all the ins and outs of Disney. We received our name tags and blue IDs..we are now official!!! After training we headed into Magic Kingdom for the first time as a Disney employee! Saturday I start training at my location, Hollywood Studios Production Bakery. I’m excited to learn even more behind the scenes magic.

- Maris


Terrace View of Castellammare di Stablia and Mt Vesuvius

The terrace at the Vesuvian Institute is a great place to go and to enjoy the view of the city, the Bay of Naples, and Mt. Vesuvius.

Professor Dale Silva


Vesuvian Institute

Castellammare di Stabia, Italy

Hello, my name is Dale Silva and I am the advisor for the International Hotel & Tourism Management Degree at JWU.

As the saying goes, “where does the time go?”! It seems as though it was just yesterday that I was packing my bags and preparing for another trip to Italy where we are staying at the Vesuvian Institute (VI). When we arrived, we were welcomed with wonderful hospitality. Everyone here is friendly and treats you like a member of the family.

So far, the first week has been busy. We have been to Naples for some Pizza on “pizza street,” had a tour of Castellammare di Stabia, an orientation of the VI, and classes have begun. Italian lessons have begun and everyone is practicing their Italian! It is so terrific to see everyone so excited to be here! I look forward to getting to know everyone much more over the weeks to come and enjoy meals with different people each day. The meals follow the structure of a Neapolitan meal: sit down three course meal at lunch and dinner. The freshest ingredients are used to prepare the meals. Pasta is always the first course, and how delicious it is!

The Vesuvian Institute is our home for this coming spring term! Over the next few months, the students of the International Hotel & Tourism Management Degree (IHTM Italy 2013) who are studying abroad this term, as well as myself, will be posting about our trip.

I look forward to sharing information with you during the term!

Thank you so much for following!

Professor Dale Silva


At freshmen orientation one thing the orientation leaders talk to the freshmen about is diversity. As a student coming from a diverse high school I didn’t think much about going to school with people with different races, backgrounds, country of origin, or who speak different languages than I do. One thing was for sure though and that was I didn’t think the type of people I would be friends with would change much while in college. I thought my college friends would be a lot like my friends from home: people who look, speak, and think the way I do.


Castellammare Di Stabia <3

We arrived to Catellammare Di Stabi! After a long day of traveling to Napoli we took a bus to the Vesuvian Institute. After settling in we went to town. The sun was setting over this beautiful monument that is located in town near the beach…


Il Scirocco! Today we were all awaken by heavy winds that howled throughout the RAS building, our window panes were whining as the wind passed through them. The “Scirocco” is a Northern African wind that brings heat and dust to the southern parts of Europe with hurricane force winds in some areas. It usually occurs in March and November, a sign of changing seasons. In the picture you can see the wave caps in the bay caused by the wind.

Antonio Barbieri

Springing into Spring & the new tri

The first post!

Welcome to Goteborg, Sweden!

Hej Hej!

It all started with a cupcake


The Journey Begins

First off- hello! I’m Nicki and I’m a student at Johnson & Wales University. I am attending the Freshman Sweden Study Abroad trip and will be in Goteburg, Sweden for 70 days. This blog will be a glimpse into some of the crazy things we get up to including my school experiences, traveling through Sweden, and venturing out into other parts of Scandinavia/Europe!

Study Abroad!

I got into the summer 2013 study abroad program! Let the count down begin! South Africa here I come! I will be sure to post plenty of pictures!