Universitá degli Studi di Bologna
Tamami Komatsu is a pre-med International Studies major at UCSD and will be studying literature and Italian culture at the University of Bologna for the upcoming year.
She was born in Houston, Texas, and grew up in the small town of Marietta, Georgia. When she was fourteen, her father had a job transfer and she moved to Torrance, California. She remembers feeling angry and scared. She says:
I hated California and wanted to go back more than anything. It’s strange that now I am choosing to leave the safe place that California has come to be to go to a place more different than Torrance was to Marietta. This time, however, as daunting an experience as it may be I am equally excited for all that Italy has in store for my life.
When asked why I chose to go to Italy I never really know how to respond because I don’t really know. It was just one of those things that felt so right and natural that you never really thought about why. I would have to say that it mostly has to do with the rich history that Italy boasts of and the vivacious culture that it exudes. The country sparkles and beckons to be explored. I love literature and so the very idea that I will be studying at the University that Petrarch and Dante attended is mind shattering. As an International Studies major, I am incredibly excited to develop an international perspective and to study other cultures first hand. I am also excited to see upon my return the change in attitude and opinion that I will have underwent. As most students who go abroad, I wish to see the world in the hopes of better understanding my own.
As for my future, I plan on becoming a doctor, and at present, I am considering pediatrics, primary care, and radiology. I, also, plan on spending the first few years after graduating medical school in Africa as a part of Doctor’s Without Borders, which is a volunteer program that provides much needed health attention to underdeveloped countries.
It is my belief and ardent desire that Italy will break down the polarizations and cultural biases that I may unknowingly have. I furthermore wish to gain a multi-perspective opinion and break free from the one-dimensional box that my mind currently inhabits. I hope to return to the U.S. as a global citizen, an individual that carries the capacity to be active in the global world we live in.