While nearing the end of this spring semester at Syracuse, internship talk begins to flow in classes and between friends as students prepare to spend a summer hard at work. For most this includes finding an apartment and moving to a big city or some have the luxury of working close to home.

However, just two weeks after getting home from a year at school I packed up my life and moved to Florence, Italy for a summer study abroad session.

The Big Move to Italy

During my sophomore year I had to make the big decision of if, when, and where I wanted to study abroad. After deciding on the Florence summer session, I felt overwhelmed with excitement and nerves because I would be living in a country where I don’t speak the language and a city that I had never explored before.

As much as you can plan for a trip by researching the best places to eat and visit, TripAdvisor and Yelp do not tell you how to prepare for so many cultural differences. Most Syracuse students stay with a host family here in Florence so from the very beginning I was thrown into the Italian lifestyle of food and family.

The Transition

The Syracuse Florence campus is beautiful and situated just outside the busy city center. The faculty and staff have been great to talk to about recommendations and adjusting to a completely different life. Although I did come to Florence knowing a few people in the program, in such a short period of time I have been able to meet and make memories with other Syracuse students.

The Work

The important part of this whole blog post! During my time here in Florence I will be a Marketing/Advertising intern for Essére Atelier – a small boutique near city center where all clothes are handmade by the owner, Ilaria Tolossi.

I am hoping to take the skills I learned in IST486 – Social Media in the Organization and use them in a real-life scenario to make a difference in growing engagement and impressions for Essére. Our tasks include posting on the store’s Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and WordPress as well as plan a Summer Showcase event. I’m excited to learn and adapt to the different ways Italians use their social media platforms!

The Travel

After traveling for almost 24 hours across the Atlantic Ocean, most Syracuse students spent our first weekend abroad by staying in Florence. The SU Florence program organized local events including a guided food tour where we learned places to get the best Italian food as well as a tour of the Duomo museum.

Fun fact: Italians only drink cappuccino in the morning because they consider it to be too heavy for afternoon or after-meal drinking. Also, if you order what we classically call a “latte,” baristas will give you a glass of plain milk because you are clearly American!

by Lexah Pyskadlo