A Student Ripped Italy While Studying Abroad & She's Doubling Down After Internet Backlash

She doesn't really care what people think.

Associate Editor, Global
Florence, Italy.

Florence, Italy.

An American college student who went viral after slamming her semester abroad in Italy is doubling down after receiving a ton of backlash on the internet, where even the famous Amanda Knox weighed in.

In an article in The Independent, New York University student Stacia Datskovska is detailing the hate she's gotten for her experiences in Florence and clearing up misconceptions people have about her.

She's also not apologizing for her views and instead is highlighting how quickly people will attack opinions that stray from "the norm."

In her first article for Insider on March 9 titled “I'm an NYU student who studied abroad in Florence. I hated every aspect of my semester abroad,” Datskovska described having to do a semester abroad in Italy and how she considered it to be "wasting precious time."

The NYU student wrote about having to spend weekends alone while her peers and roommates partied and travelled, the hostility she received from locals, and her eagerness to get back to her life in New York.

The journalism and international relations major received a lot of hate for her opinionated article and in a new piece with The Independentpublished on March 17she describes the abundance of "Twitter replies, retweets and DMs" as well as emails and LinkedIn messages she's gotten since her story went public.

Even Amanda Knox had something to say about the Insider piece, tweeting "Girl, what are you talking about? Studying abroad is awesome!"

Knox was studying abroad in Italy when she was sent to prison for the 2007 murder of her roommate Meredith Kercher. She spent four years behind bars before she and her then-boyfriend Raffaelle Sollecito were exonerated in 2015, according to the New York Post.

In her piece for The Independent titled "I’m that ‘obnoxious’ student who studied in Florence. Here’s what I have to say about your outrage," Datskovska details how she feels about all the attention.

"I truly respect the rigor with which strangers approached the task of making sure I knew exactly how they felt about me," she wrote.

"The general consensus is that I completely wasted my opportunities abroad."

She then details how "trolls" called her out for not knowing Italian and not travelling to other Italian towns and cities while she was there.

However, Datskovska says she did, in fact, learn Italian before her semester abroad and she did travel around Italy while she was living there.

"In the past couple of days, I continued to laugh off comments that demanded I switch both of my majors because I am not cut out for them, matter-of-factly declared no one will ever want me as a wife, and called me, among many other creative monikers, a 'wet blanket,' 'spoiled t***,' “terrible person,” and an 'ugly American,'" she wrote.

The NYU student continued by saying she felt more empowered the "lower the social media haters stooped."

She also clarified that she is not taking back what she wrote for in Insider, but instead wants to address how "quick the online community is to attack a young person with an opinion that deviates from the norm."

Datskovska says she's "lucky" to have good self-esteem, a good moral foundation and a strong support network, but questions how a journalist without those things would handle such hate.

"It takes just a few taps to crucify a writer for their work," she said. "It could take far longer to undo the damage."

In an interview with Buzzfeed News, Datskovska also answers the question of whether she would take back her semester abroad if she could.

It looks like the college student would do it all over because she says her negative experience has shaped her into who she is.

It's unknown what sort of reaction Datskovska's new piece will bring forward at this point, but it's clear the writer is standing by her original statements and doesn't care if others don't agree.

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

Asymina Kantorowicz
Associate Editor, Global
Asymina Kantorowicz is an Associate Editor for Narcity’s Global Desk focused on celebrity and health news and is based in Victoria, British Columbia.
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