Studying abroad was the single best decision I have made in my life thus far. It allowed me to immerse myself into another culture and opened my mind to an entirely new worldview. Before studying abroad became an option for me, I had pretty much accepted that I would never get the opportunity to travel to another country. I was never upset about it, but there was always this sense of disappointment whenever I thought about it. When I made it into the API program, I felt a sense of accomplishment that I had never felt before. Then when I booked the flights, it started to feel even more real.
Preparing for the trip was very stressful but very exciting. Having to plan to be in a foreign country for that long was very intimidating. I had never even traveled before. My flight to Italy was the first plane I had ever even seen in my life. Although it was a very long first flight, it was not that bad of an experience. I had a layover in Amsterdam and that was the nicest place I have ever been. The people there were very nice and very well-kept. They were all very nicely dressed and seemed to have all their stuff organized and prepared at all times.
Upon arriving in Florence, Italy I quickly learned that there are many differences between the United States and Italy. Italy is a country that is full of such rich history. Most of the buildings there are older than the United States even is. They are beautifully crafted and have such pristine architectural elements that cannot be found in any other places. This was one of the best parts of the entire experience. I am deeply invested in art and design, so seeing all of this older art and everything was astonishing to me. There are truly no words good enough to describe the feelings I had while seeing these buildings and statues all over the country.
While Florence had some amazing designs and artworks, Rome was the design center of the country in my opinion. The famous architecture and statues that are located there are some of the most beautiful things I have ever seen in my life. The Trevi Fountain was the crown jewel of the city for me. It was so much better than I could have ever hoped. It was also much bigger than I expected it to be. Although it was extremely crowded, it was still something that you cannot miss if you are in Rome. The city of Venice was also very beautiful. There are many different attractions there that make going to the city another experience that you cannot miss while in Italy.
API made the experience so special, and they made us so comfortable while we were there. Our apartment was very nice and had everything we needed. It was less than a 10-minute walk from our classes and this seemed to be the same for everyone in our program. The Lorenzo De Medici school was very well organized, and they were all very helpful and accommodating. I would absolutely recommend this experience to anyone who has ever wanted to do it. I am forever changed from my time in Italy.
Kerrigan Monday (BA Art – Studio) spent the Summer 2023 semester studying abroad in Florence, Italy through API. Kerrigan had the following to say about studying abroad, “Studying abroad will be one of the best decisions you will ever make. The experiences I was able to have while abroad have changed me for the better.”
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