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Emma Brown

About My Study Abroad Program

Major/Minor: Communication Major, Media Journalism Minor
Program: Lorenzo de Medici (LDM)
Location: Florence, Italy
Term: Spring 2023


Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you select your program?
I have always wanted to study abroad! Studying abroad is such a unique opportunity that going to college offers, and through studying abroad, you are forced to push out of your comfort zone in an entirely new way. Especially since I am locally from North Carolina, it was particularly important for me to experience new culture outside of UNC. As a part of this commitment, it was important to me to attend a program in a country that was entirely new to me and find a new language to learn. I always knew that I wanted to attend a program in Europe, and I had heard plenty of positive feedback on Florence! Thus, I decided to attend LDM since there were classes that apply to my major/minor and it is one of the oldest study abroad programs at UNC.


What did you learn about yourself?
The biggest thing I learned through my abroad experience was a newfound sense of independence. While I've always been a strong and independent woman, I felt a much stronger sense of independence while abroad. Not only did I feel my confidence start to boost, but I even completed full solo trips by the end of the program (something I never could've imagined before my program began). It was incredibly to see my own progress as my abroad journey progressed, and I would recommend everyone study abroad to find out more about themselves too.


What is one of your favorite memories from your program?
In Florence, there is a local coffee shop run by a lovely couple Stefano and Anna. Their coffee shop, Snack Bar Anna, was located right next to my apartment while I was abroad. I frequented the coffee shop quite often, sometimes getting my standard bagel and espresso and sometimes trying new drinks that Stefano recommended. He was always incredibly kind about remembering my order and my most recent travel plans or decisions. It was essential to have a small sense of community in a new place. My favorite moment at Snack Bar Anna is when my parents came to visit me at the end of our program in May and I got to introduce them to Stefano and Anna. It was such a full circle moment that brought me so much joy at the end of the program.


What advice do you have for future study abroad students?
The best advice before beginning an abroad program is to reset any expectations you may have set before the program begins. Whether it is meeting new friends, places you will travel to, how your classes will be, or if you'll like the city you're living in. If you go into your program with a completely open mind, you will find much more joy as you meet new people and try new things!


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