Andrew’s Semester Overseas with AIFS in Florence

Doing a research overseas program might be extremely transformative. Simply ask Andrew, a school pupil from Rowan College and AIFS Overseas Alumni Ambassador who spent his Spring 2023 semester finding out within the coronary heart of Tuscany: Florence, Italy.

Hear from Andrew about his research overseas expertise and the affect it’s had on his private progress.

As a first-time worldwide traveler, Andrew now had the world at his fingertips due to his choice to take the leap and research overseas — one thing he says he by no means thought he’d have the ability to do.

“As a New Jersey pupil, I by no means imagined myself traversing overseas lands, but there I stood—a 20-year-old child who had by no means ventured past my residence nation. The journey was nothing in need of surreal, however it remodeled me into an expert in methods I might by no means have foreseen.”

However once you’ve by no means traveled overseas earlier than or haven’t been away from residence for an prolonged time period, it might probably really feel overwhelming! It’s regular to have apprehensions, and Andrew actually did. Fortunately, he took the plunge and now has some nice recommendation for future college students.

“The toughest half? Taking that preliminary step. Committing to one thing so unfamiliar, particularly the prospect of shifting to a overseas nation, might be daunting. But when even you could have a touch of curiosity, I implore you to leap. Priceless classes lie throughout the unknown, and also you’ll by no means really grasp them till you propel your self ahead.”

Many faculty college students have preconceived notions about the way in which they’ll really feel once they arrive overseas and begin to acclimate, however the actuality is that each pupil has a unique expertise! There’s no one-size-fits-all response or assured on the spot gratification. Andrew shares:

“Finding out overseas didn’t immediately flood me with success. In truth, as I touched down in Italy, I felt neither full nor completed. True success, I found, blossomed step by step. Every day I stepped past my consolation zone, I edged nearer to understanding the world and myself.”

As he navigated his research overseas program in Florence, Andrew discovered himself rising and altering due to the myriad of latest experiences he was having and connections he was making in his host neighborhood.

“Alone I arrived, however not alone I departed. My days abroad had been a kaleidoscope of latest faces, unique flavors, and cultural revelations. Conversations with strangers turned friendships, and each meal was a passport to understanding.”

AIFS Abroad students in Florence, Italy with local man
Andrew with buddies from his AIFS Overseas research overseas program in Florence, Italy with a neighborhood enterprise proprietor

However now that he’s a member of the AIFS Overseas alumni neighborhood and might mirror again on his expertise, what does Andrew really feel was the general affect of his semester overseas in Florence? Trace: It has one thing to do with intensive progress and alter he skilled by going out of his consolation zone.

“Two years in the past, I’d have had little to share about these experiences. Now, armed with reminiscences and insights, I’m wanting to return—to create extra chapters in my world journey. Finding out overseas is an eternal expertise not like anything. By going abroad, you might be positioned out of your consolation zone into someplace that you would be able to really develop past your creativeness.

I’m profoundly grateful for that preliminary leap past my consolation zone. Finding out overseas related me with strangers who turned buddies from each nook of the globe. As I mirror on my journey, I notice how far I’ve traveled—each geographically and personally.

Witnessing the affect of a single step overseas, I’ve woven that philosophy into my every day life. Every day, I hunt down discomfort, figuring out it’s the catalyst for progress. Whether or not it’s tackling a brand new problem or embracing vulnerability, I’ve realized that progress thrives within the unfamiliar.

None of my journey would have been made potential if it wasn’t for the unimaginable workers at AIFS and all of their assist in offering such a beautiful and welcoming setting. They took care of the whole lot from housing, to meals, and even cultural excursions. My largest thanks goes out to AIFS!”

Able to take the leap and research overseas? We’d love that will help you begin your journey!

Right here at AIFS Overseas, we all know a factor or two about serving to faculty college students and pre-professionals research and intern overseas. Our applications are extremely inclusive, which takes a number of the stress out of planning, particularly in the event you’ve by no means traveled internationally earlier than like Andrew. From coordinating your housing to offering issues like cultural and social actions, excursions, complete insurance coverage, 24/7 emergency assist, on-site workers, and extra, you’ll take consolation in figuring out you’ll have assist all through your whole expertise overseas.

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