Madeline was selected as an SAI scholarship recipient and blogger for the Fall 2015 term. She is a current student at College of Charleston studying at Florence University of the Arts (FUA) in Florence, Italy during the Fall 2015 term.
Tell us why you chose to study abroad.
Three years ago, when I entered my freshman year at the College of Charleston, I absolutely knew that I wanted to study abroad. Traveling Europe for the first time has been my dream since I was young. For me, the first step in deciding where to study abroad was choosing which language class to sign up for. I knew that it would benefit my overseas experience if I were able to speak the native tongue. The culture and values of Italy had always fascinated me and with all the amazing things I that had heard about Italy, I decided to learn Italian and pursue a semester of study in Florence, Italy.
Tell us about your school, major, interests, clubs (you in a nutshell).
I am currently entering my senior year at the College of Charleston. I am from Massachusetts, and the transition from living in the north to the south was exciting. My interests in traveling and international trade led me to declare a major in International Business with a minor in Italian. My hope for my future career lies in the import of genuine Italian goods, whether that is Italian wines or fashion products. Aside from my business interests, I enjoy exploring new places, practicing yoga, and hiking with friends. I love the mountains and I enjoy a good beach day.
What are you most excited about re. studying abroad?
I look forward to being outside my comfort zone virtually always. I thrive on change and love to discover new places. I love sitting at a coffee shop for hours on end and I’ve heard a thing or two about the amazing Italian espresso. I am anxious to put my language skills to the test and to make some Italian friends. I am eager to absorb the Italian culture and investigate its history through its art, architecture, and literature.
What are you most nervous about re. studying abroad?
As I prepare for my trip to Florence, I have become increasingly aware of the limited amount of communication that will be available between me and my family and friends at home. Between the time difference and the European phone plans, I am nervous that the decrease in phone calls will be a struggle. I have never been a home body and after attending boarding school, I am very used to being away, but I am not used to a limited means of communication. I hope that with the availability of Wi-Fi I will be able to video chat with my friends and family. To easy this nerve I have decided that I will practice the art of writing and sending a letter via snail mail.
What are three goals that you would like to achieve/accomplish while abroad?
There is so much to look forward to in my upcoming adventure. One goal of mine is to become a “local” at a caffetteria, so much so, that they can call me by name. This would mean that I have successfully used my Italian skills to make new friends. Another goal, driven by my stomach, is to learn to make all sorts of pastas from scratch. I would like to be able to go to the market pick up ingredients and make myself a full Italian meal for dinner. A third goal, which I must keep in mind, is to budget for all the things that will make my trip memorable. It is important for me to save for the weekend trips and the authentic meals, but I also feel it is important to bring home keepsakes that will hold memories in my mind forever. I feel prepared to take on my study aboard experience this fall in Florence with SAI by my side and all of Italy ahead.