By Ashley Cowles
Ciao, PRSSA! My name is Ashley and I’m a public relations minor. I’m currently studying abroad through the CCI program in Florence, Italy, and I’d like to share with you some of the many reasons why studying abroad should be on your to-do list.
Life in Italy
First of all, Italy! Have you happened to see pictures of this beautiful country? Here’s one of me and Kayla Todd, a PR major and photo illustration minor, just to give you an idea:
Yes, this is what it really looks like, and it's actually even a little more beautiful in person. Not only is this country breathtaking but the Italian culture is enough reason in itself to study here. This isn’t a chance for you to go to another country just to be a tourist. You will be immersed into the local culture. You’ll be overwhelmed by the fresh food, intricate art, friendly people, amazing fashion and just an overall different way of life, and I guarantee you’ll love it.
Second, traveling! Florence is amazing, but you have the opportunity to travel all throughout Europe (or even farther if you’d like). I’ve gone to at least six other cities in Italy as well as two different countries. You have the option to just hop on a train and take a day or weekend trip, and there are also travel companies everywhere to book with that make it extremely easy to visit places.
Third, of course it’d be wonderful just to travel the whole time while in Florence, but there actually is a reason for the “study” in study abroad. No matter your major in CCI, Kent State offers classes that fit your path. You can take classes on intercultural communication, international marketing and comparative media. You can make your own documentary, learn about the Italian cinema and contribute to a blog based in Florence. You also have the opportunity to become even more integrated into the culture, through art and language classes! The course load is completely manageable, and the professors are from Italy and always there to help you. Also, not only are you being taught in a classroom, you’re constantly able to apply what you learn in your everyday interactions.
Kent State in Italy
Lastly, CCI and Kent State Florence unbelievably prepare you for this journey and help you along the way. You’ll have orientation weeks before you leave and learn basically everything you need to know, from applying for your visa to talking with Italians. Once you arrive in Florence, you’ll have orientation with the staff there. They’ll teach you common Italian phrases, show you places you’ll need to go, like the grocery store and train station, and so much more! There are also many opportunities and activities available to you, such as cooking classes, hikes, and rafting on the river. The Kent State Florence staff are not just professors or advisors, they are more like friends who will assist you with anything you need. Have family coming to visit? They’ll give you a list of hotels. Don’t know how to say what you need at the pharmacy? They’ll translate it and write it down for you. When you’re in a different country you’ve never been to before, you’ll undoubtedly struggle along the way, but the Kent State staff both at home and in Florence will do all they can do make your experience as easy as possible.
So have I convinced you yet? I had an extremely hard time writing this, because I feel like I could write an entire book on my study abroad experience! Studying abroad will teach you about different cultures, introduce you to new people, help you continue on your degree path, get you out of your comfort zone and overall change you as a person for the better! If you’re thinking about studying abroad and have questions I didn’t address, feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and you can get your application at CCI Study Abroad. You won’t regret it!
What is your dream study abroad destination? Why is a global mindset important is public relations?