Student Journals: AIFS in Florence, Italy

Tina-Marie DeGasero
Quinnipiac University
Richmond in Florence, Italy

Tina-Marie DeGasero (right) and friends enjoy pizza in Florence.

August 16th was the hardest day I have ever had to face. I came to Europe knowing no one but myself. Embarking on this journey by myself was by far the biggest obstacle that I had to overcome; the fear of being alone. I met two of my closest friends on the plane and once in London I had the opportunity to meet many other Richmond students that were in the same situation. Reflecting back on that day (August 16), I realized I had made the best decision that I could have ever possibly made in my life.

Florence students attend a soccer match.

With only a few more weeks left I am now upset, because I do not want to leave Florence. I experienced things I never thought I would and I visited many countries that I probably would not have had the chance to do later on in life. Being a Richmond Student opened my eyes to the diversity of cultures and the array of superb foods, which was offered to me through the meal plan. Scholastically, the classes were stimulating and fascinating while giving me a better understanding of the history that is in Florence. Most importantly, the teachers were very knowledgeable and enthusiastic which made every class an experience that will remain with me forever. The most important part of my experience was the relationships I formed, not only the friendships that came about during this journey, but the relationship I made with Florence itself. Some highlights were the cooking classes with Fabrizio, pizza making classes with Carlos, the different types of wine we enjoyed during wine tasting, dinners with Italians that took place in September and October, the crazy soccer games, and the Tosca opera I had the pleasure to experience. My heart will forever be in Italy and especially in Florence for the rest of my life. I cannot express how much studying abroad changed my life for the better. Whoever has the chance to study abroad I highly suggest they should and treasure each moment as they come.

Richmond in Florence

Richmond Florence Internship Program