Former student visits Belgium


Luisa Mautino, a former IVCC student, is currently spending her 2014 spring semester in Belgium, where she is studying law and sociology for credit. She also may intern for the EU in Brussels.

Shay Sutherland, IV Leader Staff

“No place so close can take you so far” is IVCC’s slogan, and this could not be more true for former student Luisa Messina of Spring Valley.

After graduating from Hall in 2011, Messina enrolled into IVCC. Since then, she has never looked back.

From Spring Valley to Europe, Luisa, at the age of 21, has already done things that some people will not do in their lifetime.

2011 was the year of the second Obama election and Messina found herself extremely active in politics. She was the president of IVCC’s Young Democrats Club and did public speaking for Illinois Valley’s Democratic Woman’s Society. She knew after her first semester, that she did not want to stop her education at IVCC.

Messina tells me, “I’ve always been hungry for knowledge and experiences and I knew I would have to go farther than IVCC to get that fill.”

Messina transferred during the second semester of her sophomore year to UIUC. She explained that moving to a place where she hardly knew anyone was difficult. When asked for advice and if she would have done anything differently, she replied, “ My advice: take your reading seriously and try to become a better person/ student during freshman/ sophomore year because it is easy to fall behind and fail. Also do not waste your money or your professor’s time on education if it’s not taken seriously.”

Since transferring Messina has been on the Dean’s List every semester: spring 2013, summer, and fall. She has also become a mentor for transfer students and reveals that next year she will be vice president of her favorite organization, BIEN (Business International Exchange Network). On top of her many accomplishments since transferring, Messina is grateful for her friendships and bonds created at UIUC.

In 2013, UIUC held a studying abroad convention. It was there that Messina found out she qualified to study in Europe. Messina is now currently spending her spring 2014 semester in Belgium. Messina will be studying law and sociology for credit with the intention of interning for EU in Brussels.

Messina says, “Europe reminds me a lot of UIUC because of the young student population, but it is amazing that everyone looks like the idealistic European in the sense that it looks like everyone just walked off a runway.”

She also explains how refreshing Europe can be. Europeans seem like they enjoy the simple things in life, like small cafes and meals with loved ones.”

From Messina’s experiences at these cafes she noticed that, “pre-gaming in Europe is more about getting to know your worldly friends rather than just getting super effed up.”

“Beer is cheaper than water and many times, if you go to a café before noon, at least 6/10 people are enjoying a breakfast beer.”

Currently, Messina is staying at JL Vives international residence until the end of August. She is grateful for her parents’ support and cultural influence. After final exams in June, Messina will be moving to Sicily until the end of the summer. There she will stay in a town called Addaura Mondello.

Messina is mostly looking forward to reconnecting with friends when she returns in August. She reflects back on her journey and says, “My thoughts on IVCC are that, I wouldn’t have changed a single thing regarding my college path. IVCC truly prepared me and taught me to focus and think of goals.”

One of her main goals was to attend an in state university that offered great business and international experience. With some time at IVCC and help from counselors and her family she decided on UIUC.

Messina is happy with what she had done so far in life. She can’t wait to see what her future entails.