I walked for graduation in May and spent the majority of the summer completing my required internship to officially get my diploma in August. The highlight of my “last summer” before working full time and venturing into adulthood was one I will never forget thanks to the opportunity to study abroad.I had been interested in this very trip back in my sophomore year then COVID changed everything and I thought I would not have another chance but things worked out!
My sister and I were able to participate together and I can’t imagine anything better, having her with me made each minute of the three weeks so fun and comfortable. I had never been away for this long but was instantly in love with all of the places we visited. Some main highlights were seeing the Duomo in Milan right as you exit from the Metro, and later doing a rooftop tour, which was mind blowing to see the architectural details up close and the city from a birds eye view. Lake Como was equally as neat with gorgeous views of the water and mountains speckled with little colorful houses winding through.
We planned a weekend trip to Florence thanks to the allowed time in the itinerary and saw the David statue with our own eyes! We visited other museums and walked around enjoying the sights and sounds of the city. Tied for my most memorable highlights of the trip would be our weekend trip to Vernazza in Cinque Terre and our day visit to Florence.
Vernazza was bright, colorful, quaint, charming, and exciting all in one – the small city had a handful of restaurants and small shops with its main highlight being the beach and ocean access. We could not get enough of the water and spent hours jumping off cliffs and swimming, turning around to look at the beautiful city overlooking us. We tried amazing local pesto and seafood pastas and plenty of gelato.
Florence was another stunning experience that took our breath away as soon as we got out of the train station and opened up to the canals which seemed like a movie. We were able to attend some really interesting tours to learn about the city, walk around, and most fun- ride in a gondola. You might have heard people talk about these experiences or seen them in movies but it is truly something you have to see to believe and it is almost indescribable even looking back on it now.I am glad we got some amazing photos to remember it by but they do not even come close to doing it justice.
Although we are back home now, the memories I made and things that I learned will stay with me forever and I could not be more grateful for the opportunity to see more of the world and study something I am passionate about. I have long been an avid fan of historic architecture and see myself pursuing studies further down that route and this course confirmed that even further.
Kristen Donnell (BS Interior Architecture) spent Summer 2022 in Milan, Italy as part of a faculty-led trip linked with a UTC course. Kristen had the following to say about study abroad, “If you are even thinking of participating- go for it! I can not describe how much fun I had and how much I learned all at the same time. All of my expectations were exceeded and nerves just melted away as soon as we got there. I will carry the trip with me forever and have now been inspired to travel more whenever I get the chance.”
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