Come here or stay home?

Probably while considering joining a study abroad program, you wonder what the education in another country is going to be like. Well, there are many stereotypes about being a student overseas – some might think that you do not do much besides traveling and partying. It’s not quite true. Of course, a study abroad program enables you to broaden your horizons, get to know new places and learn about a different culture. Additionally, FIT’s program at Polimoda helps you to get best experience in both education and leisure time.

The school have campuses that are located within 15 minutes walking distance. FMM students have most of their classes in Villa Favard that is on the same side of the river that the Duomo and other main tourists’ attractions. Villa Strozzi is another campus situated on a hill with a stunning panoramic view of the city. Our professors come from various European countries. You definitely will be introduced to a new approach of studying. In the beginning, it seems odd and might be challenging but finally you’ll realize you’re becoming an even more open-minded person. Though, the objectives still stay the same as the ones in New York. The fact that you will be sometimes taught in another way, is a great advantage of yours. You’ll improve your communications skills thanks to overcoming language and cultural barriers and will become a more flexible person! What I also love about FIT in Florence is that, that we follow the FIT in New York curriculum and all of our credits are transferred. At the same time, we learn more about the industry in the country and Europe in general. We get chances to go to numerous places and meet people who are leaders in the fashion industry in Europe. Next Monday we are heading to Milan which is our first longer academic trip. I really can’t wait.

While in Florence, we also go to various places. Last week we visited Scuola del Cuoio – a famous leather school. It was an amazing experience. This week there is a field trip to the Ferragamo and Gucci museums. Gucci has even its own little cafe where you can grab your lunch and coffee. Can fashion a student be any more fashionable?;)

I’m attaching some pictures from the campus so you have an idea about the gorgeous surroundings of the place where we study!

All The Little Things…

Why do study abroad programs exist? Why do we decide to participate in them?

Well, there is more than one answer to these questions. Everyone has her/his own reason why she/he decides to go for a semester or a year, and study somewhere else.

Leaving your home country for some time makes you step out of your comfort zone. That is definitely the phrase that I’ve heard most often during the first weeks in Florence. Though, there is nothing to worry about.

Yes, living in Italy means adjusting to a new environment. When you first look at it, you’ll see the general things like the landscape and the architecture that you’ll find inspiring. Then, you’ll notice all the little things that will create the actual picture of the place and might be frustrating at times. Yes, sometimes you need to plan ahead because stores in Italy close earlier or close during the lunchtime (around 12pm – 2pm), you might not find here your favorite cookies, you’ll have to ask for checks in restaurants and the premiere of the movie you’ve been waiting for so long takes place in Italy a little later than in the US. It doesn’t mean it’s worse over here, it’s just different. You’ll be amazed how much information you’ll acquire during your first two weeks in Florence while interacting with other people. We all learn from each other.

Yesterday my friend told me that she’s not used to eating Italian grapes because they have seeds; I’ve been eating grapes from Spain or Italy my whole life so I haven’t really noticed it… At least now I know that I need to try seedless grapes from Florida. These are all the little things that will make you leave your comfort zone for a moment to help you understand who you are and what you really like.

It’s only a semester or two, you can always come back to your own world but think that you can discover something that you’ll love more than anything before. Give yourself a chance and travel.

P.S. I’m attaching pictures from our field trips – to Siena and Cinque Terre. Great opportunity to see other places and meet new people.

10 Things Learned in One Week.

1. Italian drivers will not slow down when they see a pedestrian at the cross walk. In fact, they might speed up in hopes that they’ll beat the pedestrian to the crosswalk so they won’t need to slow down.

2. Food is not much more expensive than it is in the States. And if it is more expensive, the quality of it totally makes up for it.

3. I really didn’t need to worry about not finding an apartment or roommates.

4. The coffee here is incredible. I will probably hate Starbucks once I get home.

5. There is no such thing as free water.

6. Italian women are beautiful. They’ll be riding bikes in flowing floral dresses with perfectly toned and tan legs in four in heels. And do it gracefully.

7. There is no such thing as Netflix or Hulu or Pandora.

8. The weather here is just like my hometown. Super sunny one moment, pouring rain the next. Invest in a good pair of rain boots.

9. To say that Italy is beyond indescribably beautiful is an absolute understatement

10. People back home will love you no matter what. Thank goodness for Skype and Facebook international calling cards.