Michaela was selected as an SAI scholarship recipient and blogger for the Fall 2015 term. She is a current student at Lasell College studying at Florence University of the Arts (FUA) in Florence, Italy during the Fall 2015 term.
GET TO KNOW MICHAELA
Tell us why you chose to study abroad.
Since I can remember I have always been intrigued by travel and experiencing different cultures first hand. I can’t imagine a life being stuck in one place, seeing points of views only one way, and only experiencing my own culture. Senior year of high school I was applying to different colleges but one in particular caught my eye because of their incredible fashion department and study abroad program. May of 2013 I officially became a Lasell College Laser. I have worked my way up to this point; a new chapter of my life where I will grow and learn as a person, I will be studying abroad in Florence, Italy. I love change; I love new people and places, new food and faces, and a changing routine of my everyday life. What better place then to do it in Italy? I want to experience a new culture and learn and grow in the process. I chose to study abroad because I think it is a fundamental life experience in one’s youth.
Tell us about your school, major, interests, clubs (you in a nutshell).
I have spent two years now as a student at Lasell College and have loved every minute of it. I’ve always had a hard time with school in general; math, history, science, tests, MCAS, SATs, you name it. I never felt motivated to learn and often felt what I was learning was useless except for my art and hands on classes, which I LOVED and always excelled in. I always thought, “If I can barely get through grade school, how am I going to get through college?” Lasell showed me a different way of learning. A BETTER way of learning. All of my professors have motivated me to do great things, my classes have been hands on and I get excited to learn about what I love. Lasell isn’t your typical school that tests every student on the same material and expects everyone to pass. You build a foundation that you will personally succeed and learn in and you can’t get that anywhere else. My major is fashion communication and promotion and I love every aspect of it. (Yes, I actually enjoy going to (most) of my classes!) When I graduate I want to work with the creative side of the fashion industry, especially with photography and print. I love to draw and take pictures so those are probably my two biggest hobbies next to yoga, beauty, and DIY projects. I love being involved around campus and the community so I try to volunteer at school events, fashion events, fashion shows, and charity organizations whenever I have time. I am the president of one of the largest fashion clubs on campus, Fashion Connection Club, am secretary of Lasell Spartones Acappella club as well as a singer for it, and keep myself busy with being involved with Yoga Club and Leaf Club. I will also be competing in the 2015 NRF competition after returning from my semester abroad. And to think, my parents think I can be lazy!
What are you most excited about re. studying abroad?
A few things I’m most excited about studying abroad is the traveling, exploring and taking pictures to add to my blog, attending a new school along with taking the courses I have chosen, and living right in Florence and becoming part of the community. I am so excited and grateful that I have this opportunity to do something so huge that it’s hard to pick only a few reasons! I am just overall excited to start my semester in such a beautiful place and learn lifelong lessons!
What are you most nervous about re. studying abroad?
I can honestly say I’m not too worried about anything specific. I am really excited for a foreign place to be my new home! Although I am the only one out of my friends to study abroad, I know many kids from Lasell and my roommate is one as well; plus meeting new people is half the fun! The only thing I am nervous about is forgetting something important at home (I’ve been having nightmares every night I forget something like underwear or my phone!), not keeping myself in budget, and traveling to another country alone. I am not fluent with the language so traveling on the first day does seem a little scary but I know I’m in good hands!
What are three goals that you would like to achieve/accomplish while abroad?
I have an endless list of goals I would like to see myself accomplish while on this journey but if I had to narrow it down I would want to leave with a lifetime of benefits. First off I would like to learn social skills and getting used to stepping outside of my comfort zone. My whole life I have sort of lived by the, “I don’t speak unless spoken to,” motto. I want to engage in the community and talk to locals, make lifelong connections with professors, students, and professionals, really step out of the box and be comfortable in any situation given and being confident in it. I also want to get on that plane to come home in December more open minded and acceptance of change. Being in a completely new community, alone, will really widen my horizon of personal opinions. Everyone says they find themselves abroad, and I really want to come home and say I did. A goal I would love to achieve is really engaging myself in the fashion industry to my best ability. I want to leave Florence with endless knowledge in my major that will make me stand out from other students in the future. To just be a volunteer at a fashion show, or dust bag shelves at a designers firm would truly be amazing, Lastly I want to accomplish my first real blog, not only for the scholarship but also for myself. I have always loved blogging but have never been able to keep up with it. I think this journey will inspire me to want to share my adventures with friends, family, and the rest of the world. Getting my blog out there would really be a dream come true and something I’m proud of.