Experience like no other in Florence

If you’ve ever considered studying abroad, its time you stop thinking and start acting. When I first came across an advertisement on social media to study abroad, I never thought much of it as it wasn’t something I could ever picture myself doing. Fast track six months on and here I am 14,373 kilometres away from home, studying in the beautiful (but freezing cold) city of Florence. As my journey draws to an end, I’d like to reflect on what has been an exciting, rewarding and overwhelming experience.

To be perfectly honest, travelling overseas for the first time solo was not all smooth sailing to begin with. I was constantly getting stressed out and lost in the streets of Rome and I just couldn’t wait to get to Florence and settle in. I found the whole travelling process stressful, especially because I was alone. Although, this all changed as soon as I arrived in Florence and met all the lovely people who I was going to spend the next three weeks with.

Image: Helena Senesi

Finally it was time to begin studying a short course in Media and Communications for the Fashion Industry at the Istituto Europeo di Design (IED), I was so excited. From the first day, I knew that studying abroad would give me the opportunity to learn about the fashion industry through a number of hands on experiences which can only be experienced here in Florence. And I was right! It’s safe to say, there is no way I would be able to learn or experience any of these things back home in Australia.

Image: Helena Senesi

The first of these unique experiences was when the class attended Florence’s renowned ‘Pitti Uomo’ – Men’s Fashion Fair. Pitti Uomo allowed us to explore men’s fashion in a way I’ve never seen it before (pictured below). Men lined up and acted occupied on their phones as people flocked around them to take street style photos of their outfits. Their attire was colourful, contemporary and sleek while their accessories were ‘interesting’ (check out the dog accessory pictured below!). Attending Pitti was an incredible experience and this was only the start of the course.

Image: Helena Senesi
Image: Helena Senesi

We were then lucky enough to be invited to assist backstage dressing models for a Pitti runway show, Concept Korea. Fashion houses BMUET(TE) and Ordinary People showcased their latest collections during the show. Now this is something you don’t get to do every day, so it was very exciting but a bit overwhelming as well! Backstage is very fast paced and at times you can be under a lot of pressure but it gave me an insight into the fashion world from another perspective and I learnt a lot from the experience.

Concept Korea
BMUET(TE) on the runway at Concept Korea. Image: Wonderland Magazine

As my studying abroad experience draws to a close I would love to leave you all with a word of advice. If you have an opportunity to study aboard, go for it. Don’t even hesitate because I can ensure you it will be an experience of a lifetime that you will never forget. This experience has taught me the true meaning of the saying, ‘travel is the only thing you can buy that makes you richer.’ Through this experience I’ve meet some amazing people, experienced incredible things and I have also grown as a person. Combining my studies and my desire to travel was one of the best things I’ve ever done in my life to date. I hope many other people will be lucky enough to experience the journey of studying abroad like myself.

Until my next adventure, dream big and travel the world,

Helena xx

Have you had your own studying abroad experience? If so tell us about it in the comments below!



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