WRAP 2023: Anushka Kulkarni, W’26

When I mention my summer in Italy, most people assume I was attending classes at a university with fellow students. But WRAP is no ordinary study abroad program. With complete freedom over where you go, when, what you study, and with whom – and experiencing it all alone, I can surely say WRAP is the most unique summer program I’ve ever heard of.

I chose to spend my months in Milan, Italy at SDA Bocconi under Professor Tracy Anderson. She introduced me to the field of management, research, and academia, as I helped hand-collect data, perform descriptive analysis, and develop an understanding of idea generation.

However, embarking on this academic journey alone in a foreign country where I didn’t know anybody and didn’t know the language was quite daunting. Admittedly, my first few days didn’t go as smoothly as planned. After hauling my suitcases over the cobblestone sidewalks and walking in circles, I finally found my flat. Upon arriving, I was greeted with a surprise– I’d be living with 3 other Italians. To make matters more challenging, the scorching Italian heat made my AC-less room a formidable test when temperatures soared above 100.

However, my feelings of doubt quickly subsided when I met my professor and another Bocconi student, Anna, who was also helping with this project. The amount of care and affection I
received from them truly blew me away – they were willing to put in so much effort to get to know and welcome someone who was only there for a couple of months.

Slowly, I became accustomed to my Italian lifestyle, and, as I often discussed with Tracy & Anna during our weekly lunches, grew to prefer it. I ate the best food of my life, walked everywhere, used Milan’s amazing metro system, indulged in multiple gelatos a day, shopped for fashionable clothes at street corners, and so much more.

Additionally, through the flexibility of WRAP, I was able to travel and explore more of Europe while doing my work. In my couple of months abroad, I got to explore Milan, Venice, Verona, Florence, Rome, Lake Como, Cinque Terre, Geneva, Interlaken, Grindelwald, Lucerne, Amsterdam, and more, completely by myself. I learned to enjoy my own company, have confidence in myself to travel alone, and make smart decisions. From struggling to make Google Translate conversations to being able to use some phrases in Italian, I can say that my personal growth through WRAP has been unparalleled.

To anyone considering WRAP, there is no program I would recommend more. I truly had the best summer of my life.