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Elizabeth Ranatza

About My Study Abroad Program

Major/Minor: Journalism and History Majors - Chemistry Minor
Program: UNC in Firenze (LdM Instituto)
Location: Florence, Italy
Term: Summer 2019


Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you select your program?
I chose this program because I wanted to be in an Italian city rich in Renaissance culture and centrally located so I could explore the country easily.


What did you learn about yourself?
I learned that with traveling there may be unexpected bumps in the road but you have to be able to roll with the punches and be willing to adjust to make the most of your experience and not allow yourself to be overwelmed.


What is one of your favorite memories from your program?
I was in a class where we learned about a section of Florence every day and then were able to go visit that place. This was next level hands on teaching that I have never been able to explore in a history class and I loved it. I also loved being able to travel around every weekend. My roommates and I went to Tuscany, the Amalfi Coast, Capri, Venice, Milan, Naples and Rome. Best part is that the train was cheap, reliable, safe and right next to our apartment!


What advice do you have for future study abroad students?
Go out and explore as much as possible, but also remember that it is okay to hang back sometimes and spend time on yourself without feeling guilty. We all need to remember that self care is super important to doing well in school and maintaining a good headspace while abroad. Also when you do decide to go out, there are lots of free things to do! Go to a park or piazza, use your student ID to get into museums, pack a lunch and enjoy the sunset!


Would you do it again?
Absolutely 100%


How were your classes abroad different than if you would have taken them at UNC?
Being on location to the places and events that we were discussing led to next level immersion that isn't possible other places. Every inch of the city has a backstory and it was so interesting to be fully immersed.