A Taste of Italy

Nicholas Gabuzda

Nicholas Gabuzda ’18

Last summer, Nick Gabuzda ’18 (environmental science) put his Italian skills to the test when he interned at an imported foods company—work he continues this semester as a study-abroad student in Bologna, Italy, where he met the company’s president. Below, he discusses his love of the great outdoors, the Nobel Prize-winner he’d most like to meet and his growing appreciation for gastronomy.


Environmental science (Italian minor).

Clubs and organizations: 

Liberty Cap Society (tour guides).


Alpha Lambda Delta.

As a kid, I wanted to be …

… a paleontologist.

On choosing a major:

I always had an interest in the outdoors from an aesthetic perspective, and I thought it would be interesting to study the environment on a scientific scale to understand/appreciate it from another angle. After my intro course in environmental science, I was hooked on ecology.

On choosing Dickinson:

Dickinson has the small community aspect that I was looking for in a school. It also has a very well-developed environmental science program, which intrigued me.


I really enjoy baking (lemon squares are my specialty).

On studying abroad:

I am currently studying in Bologna, Italy. Without a doubt, the best thing about my experience has been using the Italian that I learned at Dickinson to meet Italians and take classes (completely in Italian) at the University of Bologna.

If I could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, it would be …

… Bob Dylan.

About my internship:

I interned at Gustiamo, an Italian food import company based in the Bronx. [Senior Lecturer in Italian Luca] Lanzilotta told me about the opportunity after a representative from the company came to talk at Dickinson about the company, showing us an example of what studying a foreign language could lead to after college. I’d never had any experience in business or the food industry, so I was curious.

Through this experience, I learned all the tiny details that go into a business, from triple checking a blog post for errors before you post it to the importance of maintaining strong a rapport with producers and customers. In addition, the food industry is so much bigger than I ever imagined. For many people, food is more than just something you eat. It’s an experience. Lastly, if you want to make delicious, authentic food, you need to start with excellent ingredients.

Best international moment so far:

While in Italy, I had the chance to visit one of the producers for La Ca’ Dal Non, a company that has been making traditional balsamic vinegar for generations. When I was working for Gustiamo in their Bronx location, I learned about the products and taught customers about them, but touring the place where the balsamic was actually made was fascinating. Balsamic is truly an art.

Most important thing I’ve learned so far:

Be game for anything.

Learn more

Published March 17, 2017