International Connections

Amanda Gors

Major: Apparel, Merchandising, and Design

Minor/option/emphasis: merchandising

Year: Junior
Hometown, State: Iowa

Type of experience: Semester abroad
Experience: A Semester in Florence, Italy (Lorenzo de' Medici Institute)
Experience website:
Destination: Italy

Overall experience..
It's hard to find the right words to describe my overall experience. Simply put, my semester abroad was probably the best four months of my life thus far. I met some of the best people and made memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life. I was able to do and see so many incredible things and push myself in so many new ways.

I learned...
I learned about Lorenzo de Medici through my advisor.

An impact to my life...
This experience impacted me in so many positive ways. Personally, I grew more confident and independent, because it gave me an opportunity to think and behave in new ways. Living in a foreign country forces you to change your normal habits and go outside of your comfort zone, in a good way of course. In terms of my education, I was challenged and learned not just in my classes, but outside of them as well. My experience will undoubtedly help me in reaching my long-term goals.

I will never forget...
The most memorable experience I have from studying abroad came on the night right before I left to come back home. All of my friends and I were drinking wine and eating pizza at the Piazzale Michelangelo- our favorite spot in Florence because it had the best view of the whole city. We were watching the sunset and there was a man playing the guitar (to further set the mood). I just remember talking and laughing and eventually crying together because our semester was over. We didn't want to say goodbye, so we ended up staying up all night and watching the sunrise in the exact same spot. It was really special.

Advice for others...
My advice would be to absolutely do it. Do your research, get your ducks in a row beforehand, and then go. It will change your life in the best ways.

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