My Year at TRI by Arianna Cozzi
It is almost 1 year ago that I got the opportunity to live an amazing experience in TRI Princeton. I left my hometown Pavia, a little university town 20 minutes away from Milan, in northern Italy, to come to Princeton, USA, another university town 1 hour away from NYC. At the beginning, everything was new for me, I was just a student ready to live in a new country.
I have always been a big explorer. In fact, the first thing that I bought was a bike and almost every weekend I was biking all around Princeton to enjoy the views and to learn something new. Everyone in TRI knows about my bike because I cycled every morning to work with my helmet during the summer. But during the early winter months I discovered that I am very sensitive to the New Jersey cold so I also wore two jackets, three sweaters and 1 big scarf, which usually covered all my face. Nothing was more enjoyable when I rode side by side with my fellow intern Marcella from San Paulo in Brazil; these were wonderful moments that we both treasure.
After a year, I now feel like a native of Princeton. I know the best Italian market, the best pizza place, the best spot to study in Princeton University during the spring, and of course I know everything about the Princeton public transportation. Indeed, I saw the bus driver, Jeff, so many times when the bus drives me to work during the coldest days in the winter that is now one of my big friends.
Princeton is always full of students, they are usually coming from different parts of the country and so I learned a lot about the cultural diversity and I saw what American people think about Italian people. Usually when I say “I am Italian” the first thing people say is “Buongiorno” that usually goes with some big movements with the hands. It looks so funny to me but also so true, because when passionate (and we Italians are passionate) we speak with the hands.
I love the nature and every time when I am running an FTIR experiment I take a look through the window because you never know what you can look at in the garden: deer, foxes, marmots, all different kind of birds including our family of Bald Eagles and their two chicks across the Lake, or maybe just some college team practicing rowing on the lake. I just have good memories about that TRI estate and garden because, as every good Italian, I love good food and for me the best moments are when we are all sit around a luncheon table eating and talking and I specifically remember with a big smile the summer barbecues courtesy of our in-house Chef Brian.
But the time spent in TRI was more than this. I received a great professional education, I improved my researcher skills and I lived a unique experience with an amazing TRI team. I will take back to Italy with me every single moment spent and every person I met at TRI. I want to say thank you to all for this wonderful year. I really enjoyed our time together.
Arianna with Senior Research Associate Surbhi Mittal in the FTIR Lab.
Arianna and Intern Marcella Gabarra commuting to TRI.