About My Study Abroad Program
Major/Minor: Major: History and Political Science; Minor: PPE
Program: Istituto Lorenzo de Medici
Location: Florence, Italy
Term: Summer 2022 (Sessions 1 and 2)
Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you select your program?
I chose to study abroad because I was interested in learning through experience both inside and outside the classroom. I had the opportunity to travel some throughout high school and learned so much just through experiencing new cultures, languages and places first hand; but wanted to enrich this immersive quality of travel through studying. The program I chose, Istituto Lorenzo de Medici, specifically offered a split classroom environment in which professors implemented trips to sites that were relevant to the course. It provided a unique perspective on nuanced topics and allowed me to immerse myself in the culture and languages on both a personal and academic level.
What did you learn about yourself?
I learned that I really enjoy exploring and doing things on my own. Some of the most meaningful conversations and experiences abroad happened while I was reading a book at dinner or exploring the sites in between classes. While community is important, I realized doing things by myself allowed me to reflect, observe, and immerse myself in ways that company sometimes cannot.
What is one of your favorite memories from your program?
One of the first weekends into the program, my roommate and I decided to visit Siracusa in Sicily which is south of Florence, where my program was located. On the second night after dinner, we were walking around and the town was contagiously alive. There was music and dancing, delicious street food, and many shops had reopened. It was unlike anything I had ever seen, and is something I will never forget.
What advice do you have for future study abroad students?
Situations that are new and foreign can be uncomfortable and a bit daunting at times, but don't be discouraged.This is very normal. There is typically an adjustment period that comes with new a situation, and the best way to get through this is one day at a time. Making sure you are taking care of yourself by eating well, getting enough sleep, staying hydrated, etc. also helps significantly. If you keep showing up, eventually it won't just get easier; but you'll realize that your language skills have progressed, the everyday tasks that were so foreign to you have become second nature almost, and so much more. In the end, this experience is so worth all the uncertainty and discomfort that is initially felt.
How do you identify?
Could you share any experiences where your identity played a role in your time abroad?
Being a transfer student actually helped with adjusting while abroad because I already had experience adjusting to a new school environment.