Studying abroad in Florence, Italy was by far the most life-changing experience I have had thus far. Before leaving, I was hesitant about my decision to study abroad. In the days leading up to my departure, I would work myself up about not making friends, missing out on experiences in Chattanooga, and missing my family. It was too late to turn back on my decision though. I needed to go. The first week in Florence, I met so many incredible people. In fact, I was surprised by how much I got along with everyone. The preconceptions I had made up in my head were wrong. I quickly learned that
everyone was feeling the same way I was, nervous to meet new people and be in a new place, but we all quickly adjusted.
Completing study abroad second semester of junior year was the perfect time in my degree for me, and this is the semester I recommend other BFA majors complete study abroad. As said, I was nervous about missing out on opportunities happening in Chattanooga during the semester, but I feel that I got a better experience than I would have if I had stayed at UTC. I recommend the spring semester over the summer semester because it is longer, and you can complete more credit hours.
I traveled a lot with my roommates over the semester. We went to six different countries, including Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the UK, and of course, Italy. Out of all the countries I went to, I have to say, Italy was the most beautiful. I experienced almost all of the seasons in Italy in just three months. My favorite trip was Bressanone, Italy, which is where the Dolomites are. I went backpacking with my roommates, specifically in Val Gardena. We experienced rain, snow, and sunshine in a matter of 10 miles. The weekend after the snowy Dolomites, I went to Cinque Terre, which is a runner up favorite. I went from hiking in waist-deep snow, to sunbathing on the beach. The five towns of Cinque Terre were breathtaking. The buildings glued into the sides of the mountains meeting the crystal blue water was truly unlike anything I have ever seen. I felt as if I was entering a new world with every city I traveled to, even if it was just different cities within the same countries.
Studying in Florence was particularly special to me because of my design based degree. Creating art in a city filled with art all around was beautiful and overwhelming. I was specifically set on studying in Florence for this reason. I completed an internship at FUA that involved the creation of the school publication. The publication was based on Italian designer, Adriano Olivetti. Learning through the lens of Italian design and taking inspiration from Italian designers has overall expanded my knowledge of design and where I pull inspiration from. I highly recommend studying at Florence University of the Arts as a graphic design major, or really anyone completing a BFA.
Aislinn Nix (BFA Art – Graphic Design) spent Spring 2022 studying abroad in Florence, Italy via direct enroll at Florence University of the Arts. Aislinn had the following to say about studying abroad, “Studying abroad has changed the way I experience the world. It has made me more curious and eager to know each end of the earth.”
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