BEVERLY, Mass. — Endicott equestrian junior rider Bella Silva (North Truro, Mass.) recently went on a study abroad trip to Florence, Italy. Silva, who is majoring in Studio Art, caught ECGulls up on her trip to Italy.
1) ECGULLS: Can you give us an overall description of your trip?
For the Fall 2019 Semester, I studied abroad in Florence, Italy at the Florence University of the Arts (FUA). Throughout my stay, I was fortunate enough to also visit many other Italian cities and regions as well as countries like France, Germany, Hungary, Switzerland, and Austria.
2) ECGULLS: Describe your overall study abroad experience?
Putting my study abroad experience into a nutshell would be too much of an understatement for what an absolute life-changing time I had! While I was in Italy, I was able to not only experience the European lifestyle for myself as a student, but I also was able to explore this place that was so culturally rich in the world of art, that as an artist I watched myself grow exponentially. The only way to describe the experience was that every single moment I spent there — the good times and even the bad — was like I was living in a dream!
3) ECGULLS: Why would you recommend studying abroad to other students?
I would recommend studying abroad to other students because there is really no other time in your life that you're ever going to have as much freedom as you do living as a student in a foreign country, fully immersed in the culture.
4) ECGULLS: What was the biggest lesson you learned?
The biggest lesson I learned when I studied abroad was about myself and my relationship to the world around me. There is no limit for travel, education or curiosity.
5) ECGULLS: What was your favorite experience?
My favorite experience in Italy was waking up every morning to a cappuccino by the Florence Duomo. Wherever I traveled, however far I went into Europe, I always, always missed my home base in Florence by the end of the trip.
6) ECGULLS: Describe the educational side of the program.
The education at FUA is extremely immersive compared to many other programs I've seen. I don't think there was a week that I didn't have some type of field learning; taking walks around the city, studying frescos and other art at churches and museums. The 'work' in 'schoolwork' was heavily invested in the pure experience of the city which was amazing.
7) ECGULLS: Were there any funny stories from your trip?
Funny stories from my trip... That are safe to tell? Well, with the friends I made, we were always laughing. We got stuck in many a lightning storm and just had to wait it out in random places. The funny thing about Florence is that when it rains/thunders/lightnings, you won't see anyone out on the streets going places. Everyone stops to hide in nearby stores until the storm passes. They are so much less concerned about time than we are here in America. It was always so funny to be the only soggy idiots running through the streets because we had to get places. Italians said it was the easiest way to spot Americans — always walking fast and running places, especially in the rain.
ENDICOTT EDUCATION ABROAD
"At Endicott College, we believe our students are best prepared for our interconnected and globalized world if they are culturally aware, multicultural in their perspectives, and able to understand global issues from various points of view. Education abroad (study abroad & international internships) prepares students for success by offering alternative academic understanding, social & cultural literacy and life-changing experiences. Through semester-long academic study, faculty-led trips, or 3-to-15 week internships abroad help students gain new confidence and self-awareness, and obtain the skills necessary for success in today's economy." — said Warren Jaferian (Dean, International Education)
(Photo Credit - Bella Silva '21)