LdM ALUMNI TESTIMONIALS
I had no idea what to expect when first arriving in Italy, but I knew to keep an open mind and be open to all the things Italy had to offer me. When I first arrived, I was so nervous and had no idea what to do or even say, considering I didn’t speak the language. However, as time went on I learned to adapt very well to the Italian culture, which I LOVE. It was not easy to get acclimated at first and without LdM it would have been even harder. Taking classes at LdM, which was right in the heart of Florence, truly helped me to feel more comfortable in Italy in general. I felt as though I belonged there and that I had a purpose, which is important when you experience a big change like moving to another country. I felt as though I always had a place to go and that the professors there could really answer any question I had whether it was about school, Florence, or Italy as a whole. Not only was LdM very helpful, but being alone without my family in another country truly helped me become such a better person. Without studying abroad, I would have never realized certain things about myself because when you are alone in a foreign country you step out of your comfort zone, and that is what I did. Italy is the most amazing place on earth to me and I wouldn’t change a thing about my time there or my decision to go to LdM. Florence will always have a place in my heart.
Marissa Antonino – LdM Study Abroad Semester in Florence, Spring 2018
My study abroad experience at LdM has without a doubt changed my life, not only was I able to immerse myself into a culture that’s always fascinated me, but I made memories that I will truly cherish for the rest of my life. From the very beginning, the staff at LdM made me feel right at home. Before I had even made my final decision as to where I would be studying, administration at LdM made me so excited for my upcoming semester, ensuring me that I would be leaving with a second home in Florence, Italy. Staff from LdM was always quick to get back to me, constantly going above and beyond to make sure I had everything I needed, which made feel confident in my decision to spend the semester at LdM. One of my favorite aspects of LdM is the class sizes, they are much smaller than those at my home university. I never once felt lost in a class because my professors were always more than happy to clarify if I there was any confusion. Ironically enough the class I thought I would dread ended up being my favorite, public speaking. On the very first day of my public speaking class my professor had each one of us introduce ourselves to each other one on one, which really kicked off the semester to a great start. We were able to have personal conversations and create friendship immediately! So, now when it’s my turn to present a speech to the class it’s like I’m just talking to a room of friends.
Every experience I’ve had abroad, with LdM has been a positive, enriching one. Whether it’s interesting discussions in the classroom or traveling for a fun weekend trip, LdM has made me feel safe and given me the confidence to try new things. I’ve grown immensely and learned so much about myself since being here and I’m leaving with friends that live all over the world. I’m now confident in my abilities to succeed no matter where life takes me and I’m looking forward to my next adventure, all because of my time at LdM.
Emily Beltran – LdM Florence Study Abroad Semester, Fall 2017
The benefits of my study abroad experience with LdM Florence are too many to count. Not only was I able to culture myself by participating in the customs of the Italian people, but I was able to hone my language skills, make new life-long friends, and above all I developed into a more mature person. I feel that I now have a deeper understanding of the European way of life. This open-minded acceptance is not something easily lost and now undoubtedly carries over into the way I view people who are different from myself.
My number one goal when studying abroad at LdM was to truly live the life of an Italian. Although I took weekend trips to countries outside of Italy, I found that most of the personal growth I experienced was within Florence, the city I was semi-permanently living in. From the very beginning of the semester, I decided to go beyond my introductory Italian course by studying long lists of Italian words on my own, speaking with my other professors about my interest in their language, and going out to local areas of the city to practice speaking Italian with people. In doing so, I eventually made many great Italian friends and fell deeply in love with the Italian language and culture.
Brianna Strobel – LdM Study Abroad Semester Student in Florence, Spring 2017
The classes, by far, had one of the most long lasting impacts on me. One of my courses, a travel writing class, gave me the confidence to start writing again. I got to read stories from great writers while creating my own pieces, reflecting on real travel experience that I had. It made me realize how much I loved bringing parts of the world and characters from all over to a single page.
Now, returning to my home institution, I feel confident that I’m in the right place. The unique experiences I had and people I met helped me feel more confident in traveling and meeting new people, while the classes I took made me feel assured that writing is what I’m truly passionate about.
Brooke Dunn – LdM Study Abroad Semester Student in Florence, Fall 2017
I learned so much about Italy, I learned even more about myself. I always knew I was independent, but studying in Florence only made that stronger. I became my own person and understood myself more than ever. Being a psychology major, it is crucial to have a worldly perspective. Meeting so many beautiful and nuanced people from different countries expanded my understanding of humanity and made me want to pursue my career on a global level. I owe LdM so much for this incredible and life-changing experience.
Caitlin Cronin – Florence Study Abroad Semester, Fall 2017
I went abroad because I wanted a new adventure; I wanted to see what life was like on other parts of the world. Florence not only became my home for 4 months, but it left me with lasting memories that helped create who I am as a person.
Looking back on the semester, I remember sitting in orientation on the first day and someone was talking about how you should “Do one thing a day that is outside of your comfort zone”. When I heard this, I kind of chuckled and thought yeah right, that’s impossible, but as I begun the week I realized that I was doing multiple things a day that was outside of my comfort zone, which I would have never done if I had been back home where I was comfortable. I was able to step out of my comfort zone and try new things that I had never done before. It taught me that whenever you are faced with a problem, you have to face it head on and find a way to solve it. Everything will not always go your way, but by facing new and challenging situations, you grow as a person.
Ashley Hatz – Florence Study Abroad Semester, Fall 2017
Studying abroad in Florence at LdM for a year was such an amazing opportunity that I was so happy to have. There are some life lessons and world experiences that can only come of living in a foreign country for a period of time. As a photography student, the opportunity to travel and photograph Italy and the rest of Europe was incredible. As a student, if feasible, a study abroad experience is almost essential to having a well-rounded academic career and such a great opportunity to connect with new and diverse people, both personally and professionally. I met so many people that made my abroad experience amazing, including my host family. I lived with a host family for a year, and gained a second family, I recommend it to anyone studying abroad! You get to experience the culture up close and live in a welcoming family environment. Not only did this help to adjust immediately, but it was also so much fun doing activities around Florence together. There is no better place to study than in Florence. From the food, to the city life, to the rich history of Florence, studying at LdM has been the experience of a lifetime, and I wouldn’t trade in a single moment!
Alexandra Stephenson – Study Abroad Year Program in Florence, Fall 2017
I quickly grew accustomed to leaving my Italian class every day and hearing a cheerful, “Ciao, Noah, grazie!” As a first time world traveler and Italian adventurer, it was comforting to be met with this kind of hospitality. LdM was very accommodating and gave me a solid base for my study abroad experience. I chose to go to LdM because of its location in Florence and because of its unique course offerings. As a psychology student, I was able to take Forensic Psychology, a course that I usually can’t take at my home school, as well as Child Developmental Psychology. These two courses were taught by the same professor and she was perfect for both because she had a strong background as a psychologist who advocates for children involved in the legal system. All of the professors that I had at LdM were very well-chosen for their courses: multilinguals, Florence natives, local chefs, psychologists, etc. In addition to feeling supported in new academic endeavors, I began my semester with personal goals of achieving greater wellness of body, mind, and spirit. I hoped to feel more present and connected to my faith by the end of the semester. Through a yoga class at LdM and my own explorations of the many beautiful churches and peaceful secret gardens in Florence, I learned that being present is a lot more attainable when you simply appreciate the everyday moments. I owe a great deal of gratitude to LdM for helping me to realize this and allowing me to grow as a student and a person.
Noah Libby – LdM Study Abroad Semester Student in Florence, Fall 2017
Coming from a big city, I never would have imagined how big of an impact LdM and Florence would have on me. I absolutely loved every moment of my study abroad experience and I truly enjoyed every class I had at Lorenzo de’ Medici. The classes did not only serve to fulfill my major back at home, but they completely broadened my perspective about different cultures. I learned so much about Italian culture that now I am completely in love with this country. The classes were amazing, every single teacher makes sure that you are learning, but also they make sure that you are enjoying your time in Florence and gaining cultural knowledge. My favorite class was Renaissance in Italy; we went on many site visits around the city, learning about the history of the churches and palaces of the renaissance.
I chose to study at LdM because of the diversity that every class had. Every class challenged me in the best way, I always wanted to learn more, and the professors are truly outstanding. The campus is beautiful and everyone is always ready to help you if you ever need anything. I will always be grateful for this experience that helped me overcome my personal goals and that inspired me to truly become a global citizen.
Adriana Campillo – LdM Study Abroad Semester Student in Florence, Fall 2017
Studying in Florence was the best opportunity for me, especially as a fashion student from Asia. Every place in Florence is full of beauty and little inspirations. I met some of the best teachers who introduced me to a completely different fashion world.
Going to LdM, I got a chance to discover my strength through some challenges. I pushed myself and eventually made it through the whole semester with satisfying outcomes. I learned if I put my mind to something and worked hard, I could overcome any fear or disadvantages.
I learned how to embrace different cultures by meeting people from diverse backgrounds. Interacting with different classmates was one of the most special things ever. I made some lifelong friends throughout the semester and the beautiful memories I made with them in Florence will never be forgotten.
Jiin Choi – LdM Study Abroad Semester Student in Florence, Fall 2017
LdM has showed me to never doubt myself and that it’s possible to acquire new abilities in a lapse of four months if you work hard for it. I remember getting to my fashion illustration class very excited and learning that I HAD to draw and sketch. I had come with very high expectations and I am leaving with all of them overachieved and with knowledge that I hadn’t acquired back home.
Never be afraid to step out of your comfort zone because as time goes you set and achieve goals that you had never imagined having and you won’t want to go back. Try different things and take every second of it in because in a dash it will be over. Don’t be afraid to travel or join clubs, you’ll make great friends that make this great experience easier. Don’t be afraid to dream because at LdM everything is possible, be prepared to be pushed to your limits, work hard, to find a home away from home, to find amazing friends and have an experience of a lifetime.
Rebeca Fernandez – LdM Study Abroad Semester, Spring 2017
As an architecture student, I do not think that there is a better place to study than in Florence. Everywhere you look is full of history and beauty. At LdM, I was lucky enough to meet some of the greatest teachers I have had in my life.
All of them taught me substantial things through very interesting walking tours and lessons, to understand the city of Florence as a whole, by pointing out important details. This made me want to know more and more about the passionate complexity of its streets, buildings and hidden details (which are full of meaning).
Because of LdM, I was able to get to know important aspects of Florence and enjoy it fully, giving it the time it deserves to be discovered.
Cristina Peón – LdM Study Abroad Semester – Florence, Spring 2017
I loved my time studying at Lorenzo de’ Medici in Florence. It broadened my view of culture, society and made be become a fearless traveler. Ever since LdM, I have made a promise to myself that I would travel to another new place every year. Some of my favorite moments as a student there were experiencing the LdM fashion show and going off-campus with my travel writing class to local Italian markets. I took several literature courses at LdM that deepened my editorial perspective, which in turn helped me find my passion as a writer.
After LdM, I went on to work as a writer for beauty, fashion, lifestyle and home décor publications. My time at LdM writing and travelling off-campus for assignments gave me insight on how to research and gather content for my writing.
Leah Mccormack – LdM Study Abroad Semester – Florence, 2012
Studying abroad in Florence with LdM was a truly life changing experience. At LdM you have the opportunity to take a wide variety of classes which allowed me to stay on track academically at my home university while also having the opportunity to explore new interests such as Italian Cooking. The professors at LdM went out of their way to ensure students were grasping the material while also making the adjustment to life in a foreign country. Not only did LdM provide a high-caliber education, but the school offered many additional opportunities to fully immerse yourself in Italian culture. One of my favorite experiences was volunteering weekly at a local elementary school where I had the opportunity to teach English to 2nd graders. Studying abroad in Florence truly pushed me out of my comfort zone, helping me grow both personally and academically. I still look back on my experience daily and continue to leverage the skills I learned through my time in Florence with LdM!
Lauren Davis – LdM Study Abroad Semester – Florence, Spring 2016
My most memorable experience at LdM was when I went to each teacher and thanked them for a wonderful semester. Some were nearly moved to tears and others expressed an enthusiastic interest in my future endeavors. I learned how to connect with people from all over, including professors and other students. Each person was genuinely interested in getting to know me, which means a lot when you’re flown off to the other side of the world. These new cross-cultural communication skills will be applied to my professional life as I progress into the Marketing field, with intentions of doing international business. The business courses offered at LdM were wholesome and informative. I’ve learned and retained a lot of information learned here that I know will be put to good use in my future. I chose LdM because they had a vast variety of courses, which allowed me to study abroad while not impeding my academic progress. LdM also offered volunteer and cultural activities that helped immerse students into the culture. I’m grateful to have chosen LdM because this experience is something that only happens once, so you’ve got to get it right the first time.
Jamie Young – LdM Study Abroad Semester Student in Florence, Spring 2017
LdM provides incredible opportunities for students to grow. My favorite activity was volunteering at the local elementary school to help the students practice the English language. One of the most rewarding things was seeing how excited the students were after they remembered an English word or phrase. Studying abroad is not all about you. It can be about the impact you make on the community – and the world – through small moments like this. If it were not for LdM, I would have never had this opportunity.
The biggest advice I can give is to seize every new opportunity that comes your way, even if you’re intimidated. Getting out of your comfort zone may be scary but it will be worth it in the end.
Michelina Boehmer – LdM Study Abroad Semester Student in Florence, Spring 2017
Studying abroad at LdM Florence, went above and beyond my expectations! My favorite classes that I took were Regional Food in the Cultural Perspective and World Religions. LdM offers amazing opportunities to its students. I was able to volunteer every week at a local food and clothing bank in Florence. This experience helped me learn how to work as part of a team to accomplish common goals while demonstrating kindness and compassion. I am beyond thankful for LdM because they helped make my study abroad experience unforgettable!
Jacqueline Surd – LdM Study Abroad Semester Student in Florence, Spring 2017
The primary goal I set for my study abroad experience was to make Florence feel like a home. I didn’t want to be a tourist, looking at the city through the lens of a camera. I wanted to assimilate, participate in Florentine life as if I was a local. Fortunately, LdM gave me every opportunity to do just that. I took my favorite classes at LDM: An oil painting class where I learned how to reproduce the famous artwork from the Uffizi Museum, a nutrition course where I became a master chef at preparing the Italian classics, and even an Italian language course where I was empowered to converse with locals and understand them on a more authentic level. LdM also spiced up the abroad experience with activities that I would have never dreamed of doing. My friends and I took a yoga class in the middle of a contemporary art museum. We visited the famous Medici Villas outside the city and even joined a choir club where we learned how to sing the Italian classics. Thank you, LdM, for helping me become a true Florentine this semester.
Brooke Barlock – LdM Study Abroad Semester Student in Florence, Spring 2017
Little did I know, my experience here in Florence would exceed my already high expectations entirely. Living in the upbeat and historic city of Florence, while being surrounded by so many diverse cultures is truly an International Business major’s dream come true – which is why I blended in so quickly and took advantage of all the opportunities around me. It is so difficult picking one thing about my time in Florence that truly stood out to me, it is a city that offers so much to appreciate. There is no better way to take a Renaissance Art class than to be in the pit of history and be able to visit the Museums and Churches that we study and there is nothing more soothing than walking to class and passing the Duomo every day. My advice is make as many connections as possible – because there are so many beautiful people to meet, places to see and make lasting memories at, and it gives you a reason to come back. The opportunities LdM has given me have truly been a dream come true. I wouldn’t change anything about my wonderful time here except to extend my program another semester. Thank you for the most incredible four months of my life. Ci vediamo!
Julia Gerogiannis – LdM Study Abroad Semester Student in Florence, Spring 2017
Studying abroad was one of the greatest experiences that I have had as a college student. I was able to grow so much as a person during my semester and truly explore what Italy had to offer. When I decided to study abroad, I knew I wanted to be in Italy but I was not sure where to go. After some recommendations and a decision to give up my fast-pace life for a slower paced semester, I chose Florence. LdM was truly the best fit for me. LdM was unique in offering not only communications classes but also in peace studies. This feature made choosing LdM so easy. I had a great experience taking classes at LdM that were for my major, the program felt very similar to my own back at my home University.
Alexis Schutz – LdM Study Abroad Semester Student in Florence, Spring 2017
If I could go back to before I arrived, and give myself some advice, I would say don’t stress over a thing, just get there.
The small worries you may face as you prepare to get here will soon be overcome by the unwavering assurance and comfort you feel as you first step foot towards a semester of endless opportunities and self-growth. LdM reflects the core Italian value of family and its staff and students will certainly make you feel right at home in your new city of Florence. From quickly realizing the city offers absolutely anything under the sun, I easily and comfortably adapted to my new beautiful life in this new beautiful place. A city full of such enriching culture, warm people, and fruitful experiences, is absolutely the ideal location to spend a semester abroad. There is no better place than Florence nor a better school than LdM to fully immerse yourself in the opportunity to not only grow as a student, but also as a young adult.
Sophia Sesto – LdM Study Abroad Student in Florence, Spring 2017
When you study abroad there is a lot left to the unknown. Will I make friends? Did I pack enough? Did I pack too much? Etc… Ldm puts these worries to ease. Before leaving there is ample opportunity to contact LdM with questions and concerns, and as soon as you arrive their orientation process helps to answer any remaining questions. LdM also does an excellent job with their advising department. The staff is available and willing to help, and that has certainly been a relief for me.
Additionally, the school provides students with many wonderful opportunities to involve yourself in. I have taken advantage of these opportunities by participating in many activities (cooking classes, private tours, etc.), clubs (ceramics and yoga), and even their volunteering program. These opportunities have most definitely enriched my study abroad experience and I have LdM to thank for that.
Alison McDermott – LdM Study Abroad Student in Florence, Spring 2015
When deciding which program to choose in Italy, LdM was top on my list, most importantly because of the opportunity to have an internship while abroad. I want to go into a career in public relations, so when I saw I could receive credit and get first-hand experience at the same time, I was very excited. LdM helped me every step of the way. I not only gained knowledge about Italian business and culture, but also international business. I have found this experience to be extremely rewarding and wouldn’t change any of it. I am so happy with my decision to complete an internship abroad and would highly recommend it to anyone studying abroad.
Amanda Albert – Study Abroad Student in Florence, Spring 2016
I experienced some of my fondest memories through LdM. I met some of my best friends through LdM housing and at the LdM organized Meet-and-Greet during Orientation. The institution did a great job making sure we were not only accustomed to Italian culture, but could participate in it. There were many incredible opportunities offered to us, such as activities and clubs, so we could explore new talents and hobbies. I participated in many of these extra-curricular activities and clubs, and in turn, LdM helped me feel like more than just a student, but part of the Florentine community.
Taylor DeClerck – Study Abroad Student in Florence, Fall 2015
“Studying abroad will open your mind.” This is one of the most overused, but true, statements said to encourage students to venture outside of what they are used to– and it is true, but in more ways than just culturally, as I originally suspected. Being in Italy this semester has not only opened my eyes to different cultures, but different views. I’m a political science major, and studying abroad has allowed me to see different political systems, how they work, and more importantly, how the citizens react to these differences. Also, it has presented me with different views from the friends I’ve made here, who come from various backgrounds. These factors have allowed me to truly rethink exactly what I believe and why; while some of my beliefs remain unchanged, studying abroad has allowed me to open my mind to not only ideas that were different than my own, but that I would have never have given a serious thought to.
Michelle Bannach – LdM Study Abroad student in Florence, Spring 2016
As you prepare for studying abroad, advisors, counselors, and alumni give you tons of great advice about how to get ready for and what to expect out of your time abroad. What no one tells you, however, is how life-changing the study abroad experience can be. Being in Florence has taught me important lessons, both inside and outside my LdM classes, about other people, the world, and myself. Through LdM activities, I found Florence gems like the Mercato Centrale that showed me how buying locally grown and produced foods benefits not only personal health but the health of a city’s community. Through my LdM classes, I found inspiration as a student while being taught by talented professors who challenged me to in my field of study and reminded me of the importance of loving what you do. Through the LdM volunteer opportunities, I gave tours of a cathedral and I was able to help people from all over the world discover the beauty and importance of the Duomo. This taught me how to leave my own mark on this city that left an incredible mark on me. Through my experience in Florence, I have learned what it means to be adventurous, how to live in the moment, how to love the uniqueness of other cultures, and that the word home can have a million different definitions.
Sarah Buchanan – LdM Study Abroad student in Florence, Spring 2015
One month into my semester in Florence, Italy a group of friends and I discovered a small soccer pitch. We were excited about the chance to do some physical activity, and finally work off our high daily intake of gelato. As we approached the field for a first game of the semester, we had no idea that we were beginning a weekly tradition that would have a tremendous impact on our abroad experience. An hour into our game, we decided to play some local boys out of class for recess. We laughed and yelled words in foreign languages, neither side understanding the other. The yelling brought smiles, and the smiles bonded us together. We had made Italian friends, a goal of many people entering abroad.
Adam Beasley, LdM Study Abroad Student in Florence, Spring 2016
As a college student moving to a new city, it is easy to feel lost and out of place but the opportunities at LdM allowed me to see Florence as a second home. The learning system is one to be envied by universities around the world. LdM used the city of Florence as their canvas. Whether it was a walking tour of the city studying logos in Graphic Design, cooking class in the famous Mercato Centrale, location scouting in Oltrarno for travel writing, and coffee with professors instead of office meetings, you are able to take the city in the palm of your hand and use every resource as a learning experience. My favourite class at LdM was travel writing with Kate Bolton. We did everything, from having work reviewed by a writer of Conde Nast to field trips that took Florence by foot: a day in the Giardino della Rose, searching for Michaelangelo’s self-portrait on the Palazzo Vecchio and solo meditation in the San Lorenzo Cloisters. My favourite memory of LdM is simply all the lifelong friends I made. The greatest take away I have from my LdM experience is that inspiration can be found anywhere as long as you are willing to explore. It is easy to feel stuck in a city you may know, but LdM taught me that the unknown and most inspirational is usually waiting for you right around the corner. After this experience, I look forward to calling new cities my home and learning from the culture that lies on the doorstep. Being a senior, it’s easy to look back and wish you could relive it all over again but I’ve taken my experience at LdM and used it as direction for where I am headed for the rest of my life.
Lauren Murdock – LdM Study Abroad Student in Florence, Fall 2016
To study abroad was always a dream of mine, and when the opportunity arose, I was incredibly curious about the new worldview I would gain and how I might return different. The biggest change for me was becoming a significantly more open person. I was much shyer before, and having to put myself out there and meet people who didn’t speak my language pushed me to speak up and be seen. The highlights of my time abroad were the times I took a risk and reached out. Living in Italy, I gained more confidence in myself as an individual, explored my talents in a new realm, and became more grounded in my personal beliefs. I let my curiosity and my thirst for knowledge guide me. Studying abroad empowers students to be better equipped to face global realities as an outcome of their experience. I plan to work in an environment in the future that puts me in contact with people and issues of other cultures, and I owe it all to the time I spent at LdM, being immersed in European culture and tradition.
Claire McCreight – LdM Study Abroad Student in Florence, Fall 2015
In just a month, I learned a lot, ate a lot, and came to call this amazing city home. During my stay, I spent my mornings in class learning about the Palaces of Florence, and taking field trips to see them in person; in the afternoons, I explored Florence and the surrounding area, often visiting the Mercato Centrale. While it’s difficult to name the most impactful experience I had, the most memorable was the day I went through Tuscany. I got to see the vineyards and learn about the region from the perspective of a local, and that kind of experience is simply indescribable. If there is one thing I took away from my experience abroad, it was learning to become more independent as well as confident in that independence. When I came home from Florence, I settled into old routines, but that desire to go out and do things on my own hasn’t gone away. Through studying at LdM, I gained a new outlook on life. Living and studying in another country is an extremely worthwhile experience, and I’m glad I chose LdM and Florence to have mine. Grazie mille!
Rachel B. – LdM Study Abroad Student in Florence, Summer 2016
LdM is centered in the heart of Florence and provides you with all the resources you need to get the most out of your study abroad experience. Even just walking through the streets of Florence from one class to another, I felt at home. Whether you do any or all of the activities, join a club, or just attend classes you will definitely have the best learning experience. Within the first week of arriving, I made a ton of friends with LdM students from all over in my classes or through organized events. Also, the small classroom sizes make it very easy for you to meet new people and really get to know your professors. LdM students are lucky enough to have access to specialty learning facilities, such as the Cucina in the Mercato Centrale. It’s an amazing place to learn about Italian cuisine, especially if you have never cooked before! All the instructors are super personable and make learning fun. I truly had the greatest time abroad and I’m thankful for all the memories I made while studying at LdM!
Melissa Donovan – LdM Study Abroad Student in Florence, Fall 2015
When I think of my experience in Italy, I think: Fresh produce. Everywhere! This is what I think of when someone mentions the Mercato Centrale. Every Monday, I grabbed my reusable grocery bag and went to the market. I usually had set produce items I was looking for, however I quickly learned that often, you simply go with what is seasonal! What I loved most was returning to the same produce stands week after week. Nothing tops the comforting feeling of seeing familiar faces and being greeted with warm smiles.
Hunter Clayton – LdM Study Abroad Student in Florence, Spring 2016
Studying abroad was high on the list of things to do while in college. I knew I wanted to make it happen, and thankfully Lorenzo de Medici had a huge part in allowing this dream to come true. From the large selection of classes, to the guidance along the way, LdM and its advisors helped me plan a schedule that kept me on track to graduate when expected.
While studying in Florence, not only were the classes interesting but the professors were incredible. I discovered what it means to be passionate about school, and I have come away with an authentic love for learning and an appreciation for new perspectives. LdM provided several opportunities to meet other students in the beginning of the semester – this is where I met some of the people that later became my closest friends. One of the best decisions I have ever made was choosing to study at LdM.
Amy Greene – LdM Study Abroad Student in Florence, Fall 2015
Spending three months in Italy has introduced me to a new culture that I have absolutely fallen in love with. Deciding to live with a host family, greatly increased my awareness of the Italian culture, and was one of the best decisions I could’ve made. Living with my host family provided a great learning experience, forced me to learn another language, and allowed me to more fully appreciate specific aspects of Italian culture (even my 9:00 pm dinner time!). Outside of my “apartment life,” I have experienced Italian culture through interacting with local shop workers, volunteering, and through chatting with my professors and advisors. I have loved being able to experience and learn about a new culture first-hand, and wouldn’t trade these months for anything.
Studying abroad has also allowed me to meet a variety of new people. When I first arrived in Florence, I knew next to no one, but I am happy to say that I’m leaving with friendships that will last for years to come. I have met people from all over the world, and have greatly enjoyed learning more about the countries and cultures that these friendships represent.
Jacqueline Pedersen – LdM Study Abroad Student in Florence, Spring 2015
When I first arrived in Florence, my perception was that it is a city built around history, tourism, and nothing more. After I felt settled into my routine and my new city, I realized that I couldn’t have been more wrong. Whether it was the first time I watched as a man rode his bike with his two toddlers, laughing the whole way, or when I somehow managed to successfully communicate with the woman in my apartment building who has lived in the same place for over 60 years, I began to notice that there is so much more to Florence than I thought. Florence is a home for so many wonderful people, whether they have lived here for their entire lives or for just a few months. This amazing city has become much more than a destination for me; it has become my home. Florence will forever be a part of me, because my last few months here has exceeded my expectations in every single way.
Connor Clark – LdM Study Abroad Student in Florence, Spring 2016
I did not enter Italy with any preconceived ideas. I left with an immense amount of appreciation for their lifestyle and demeanor. Italians put family and friends as a top priority. I cannot speak for all of Italy—but Tuscania is the epitome of love and simplicity. They truly understand the real meaning of life. As in, genuinely appreciating the company of others. Dinners are not spent on the couch watching television; they are spent around the table every single night. When you go to pick up children from a friend’s home, you do not hurry to leave—you sit on the ‘terrazza’ and talk. As you walk down the cobblestone streets, you notice that you are surrounded by groups of grandparents chuckling as they drink coffee at local cafes, while there’s the ambient sounds of children playing in the park. I was in a culture shock (in a good way!) when I first arrived; I never knew this type of simplicity still existed.
My experience in Italy did not just change me as an artist, but it changed me as a person. Now, in my daily life I find a greater amount of appreciation for: community, talking to strangers, listening to others speak, spending less time on technology and purely ‘loving’ others company. One of my biggest regrets in life is not studying abroad here longer. If I could be an advocate for anything in life it would be for LdM Tuscania.
Hannah Browning – LdM Study Abroad Student in Tuscania, Summer 2015
Studying abroad at LdM was an amazing and fulfilling experience. I am so glad I had the opportunity to attend the school and take fashion classes in the heart of a major fashion capital. I am a fashion major and in one of my classes we were able to visit museums within Florence to learn about the life and work of great Italian designers. It was so enriching. I’m also an Italian minor, and I was able to use the skills I learned from Italian class in everyday conversations outside the classroom. I’ve learned so many life lessons and studying abroad has opened my eyes to seeing the world in a different light. My experience at LdM was better than I could have imagined.
Jennie Holland – LdM Study Abroad Student in Florence, Spring 2014
If you were to ask me about my experience with LdM in Florence, I could talk about for days. So, I’m going to try to simplify it.
It was my first time ever abroad, to a city I have been dreaming about going to since freshman year in high school. When I arrived, it was like walking through a dream that I never wanted to wake up from. LdM had opened their arms and offered many opportunities to explore Florence, while getting the study abroad experience you wanted. They offered many extra-curricular opportunities and also, the classes I took were equally as amazing! I was able to expand my knowledge on Art History in a city that is filled with art, and also to draw what I saw from real life.
I met many amazing people and made close and beautiful friends who I am still in contact to this very day! This trip meant the world to me! I am glad I went and I hope to come back to Italy; what more it can offer for me and my future.
Winona Albano-Bachtell – LdM Study Abroad Student in Florence, Fall 2015
This was one the most memorable experiences I have ever had. The LdM school is perfectly located to not only to learn about Rome, but to experience it. LdM is in the heart of Rome, giving us easy access for class trips to the Colosseum, Palatine Hill, Catacombs, and churches. My professors were wonderful and enthusiastic about teaching their culture and language. My favorite professor taught Italian, and he encouraged the students to learn Italian, but more importantly, to become immersed in the language. In addition, my favorite memory from the classes was learning about the art and analysis of the catacombs, and then visiting them to see the remarkable structures. Overall, LdM was a life changing experience because of the history, the art, the language, and the food.
Sylvie Choiniere – LdM Study Abroad Semester in Rome, Spring 2015
I’ve always heard people use expressions like, “the world is your oyster” and “you never know until you try.” But, it wasn’t until I was at LdM for a semester that I really understood what this all meant. My semester abroad has shown me that there are so many new things to try and explore if you’re open to taking chances and getting out of your comfort zone. I feel so blessed that I’ve been able to attend a school with so many opportunities in a city that is constantly dynamic and lively. I’ve experienced so many unique things due to the programs and assistance facilitated by LdM. LdM allowed me to explore areas and culture and that I never could’ve discovered on my own. Meeting students and staff from around the world has given me a new perspective and has changed the way I go about my daily life. LdM has been so much more than just academically enriching; it has impacted every aspect of my life and I cannot be more grateful.
Erin O’Brian – LdM Study Abroad Program Florence, Fall 2015
I didn’t really know what to expect from studying abroad in Florence, Italy. It was my first time in Europe and I was excited to see what the LdM had to offer after rave reviews from past students. Besides the fantastic advisors who go above and beyond to assist, I was happy to find out that LdM offered activities to help you understand Florence better and they really made a difference in my time abroad. But not just the events but the unique classes I took, like the class of Paint and Polychrome Wooden Sculpture Restoration and Conservation. In that class we helped clean and restore paintings from over 150 years ago! It was an eye opening experience with professors who are experts in their field. Just like all the other classes I walked away with an abundance of knowledge at the end of the semester.
Sara Brown – LdM Study Abroad Student in Florence, Fall 2014
When arriving to Florence, I was not sure what to expect from LdM. LdM surpassed my expectations and the classes that were offered were unlike anything I could have taken home. Classes at LdM try to involve you with the Italian culture as much as they can by taking you out into the city to learn. In my art history class we would spend half the class period in a classroom, and the other half exploring palaces that we had just learned about in class. LdM also offered me an opportunity to volunteer at an elementary school helping children learn the English language. The lists of opportunities LdM has for their students is endless. Studying at Lorenzo de’ Medici was one of the greatest experiences!
Kristina DiGiacomo – LdM Study Abroad Semester Florence, Fall 2015
Studying abroad at LdM was a fantastic experience! When I decided to spend a semester studying in a foreign country, I quickly became overwhelmed with the abundance of options for educational institutions. After seeing LdM’s vast selection of courses and incomparable location in the heart of Florence, I knew I had found the right school. Throughout the entire semester, the advisors and coordinators were incredibly helpful, and even aided me in securing volunteer positions as a Student Journalist and Editor with Flonthego.com (an online journalism organization) and as a tour guide in Santa Maria del Fiore. While studying abroad came with several struggles, such as overcoming linguistic barriers, operating within a different culture, and learning to survive as a Celiac in a food-dominated culture, I will cherish the memories of my time at LdM always!
Lindsey Schrock – LdM Study Abroad Student in Florence, Spring 2015
My semester abroad in Florence was not a struggle, it was an opportunity. An opportunity to expand my knowledge, to visit new wonderful places, to meet new people, to create new memories, to explore a new language. But most of all, this semester abroad, for me, was an opportunity to learn more about myself and grow as a person, and for this I have to thank LdM. From my housing roommates, and all the things we went through together, to the school staff, the other students, the classrooms and even the school buildings; every day I had the chance to live in a new different way, to challenge my old ways of thinking and living and give myself the chance of expanding my horizons.
Susana Hoyos Botero – LdM Study Abroad Student in Florence, Fall 2015
I’ve been very lucky that the study part of my study abroad experience has been absolutely wonderful. All of my professors, from Italian to Cooking to Florentine history, are incredibly knowledgeable and even more importantly, passionate about the subject matter they teach. Being in my classes and learning about the culture and history of the city that occurs around me every day has made my experience here so much richer and meaningful. I have been able to give family and friends visiting Florence a thorough tour of the city, fun facts included, and all of it has come solely from my classes. When I think about my experience in Florence, I will think not only being enchanted by the Italian culture and the excuse to eat pasta at every opportunity, but undoubtedly I will always cherish all I’ve learned in my classes here and the care of my professors to make the students’ experience here in Florence an exciting, worthwhile one.
Gabriella Pinel – LdM Study Abroad Semester in Florence, Fall 2015
I had such a wonderful time studying at LDM Rome! Rome is a big city and LdM has a small campus right in the heart of it all. My classmates and I all became great friends like one close-knit family abroad—traveling, sharing our experiences and advice, exploring the city, and partaking in the school activities. Our professors and school faculty made us feel right at home since day 1, as our class sizes allow for more engaging one-on-one communication and understanding of subjects. Studying at Lorenzo de’ Medici in Rome is surely a unique experience, where you will develop lasting relationships and build a nest in the historical and beautiful Eternal City.
Karina Riberio –LdM Study Abroad Semester in Rome, Fall 2015
If my semester in Florence taught me anything, it taught me confidence. It taught me that the best way to learn a language is to fumble through it as often as possible and take corrections when they come. It taught me that a solo trip to Germany can be just as rewarding as a comfortable trip with friends. It taught me that I can stand up to the tests of a new environment and come out on the other side solidified in who I am and the values I hold. With Florence as my classroom, and a lesson on every corner, I learned more than I ever expected.
Sara Salinas – LdM Study Abroad Semester in Florence, Fall 2015
I studied at LdM’s Tuscania campus twice – the first time in June, 2013 and the second time for the 2015 spring semester. I came back to Tuscania because I felt that the town gave me the real Italian experience that I desperately craved by immersing me into the culture and language. Tuscania gave me that opportunity and much more by placing me with a family that spoke no English in a village of 8,000 people, far away from the tourist contamination of the big city. My professors and advisors supplemented my emersion by always speaking to me in Italian – clarifying phrases and slang that one only encounters when speaking. They introduced me to Italian students my age who made me feel part of the community. My host family went above and beyond to show me the Italian way of life. I never felt alone or homesick in Tuscania. I have become a much more insightful and passionate person since my studies in Tuscania, and I owe much of my purpose in life to the lessons I learned while there.
Laura Barbieri – LdM Study Abroad Semester in Tuscania, Summer 2013 & Spring 2015
Studying abroad is about growing as a person. When getting off the plane and entering a new land, I was nervous. I am the oldest of three, so I am use to being around people that I know and experiencing things with my family. What I learned is that while I do have family back home, my new family, the LdM community was just as supportive and amazing! My professors, classmates and advisors were all there to help me get the most out of this amazing experience. Thanks to LdM I was able to take a semester and become the person I have always wanted to be!
Athena Bogdanos – LdM Study Abroad Semester in Florence, Spring 2015
LdM provided me with countless opportunities to grow not only academically, but also personally. Every class that I took had very knowledgeable and approachable professors that cared about each student’s personal needs, and I found many opportunities to get outside my comfort zone and become more integrated with the Italian culture through LdM. I took full advantage of the volunteering opportunities and became a tour guide for the most famous church in the entire city, the Duomo. This experience was one of a kind and allowed me to grow as a person and share some of the rich history of the beautiful city of Florence with tourists, and even some locals. LdM helped me to achieve my personal goals of studying abroad and the advisors of the school helped me with any complication that I encountered. Through LdM, I had the best possible study abroad experience I could have ever asked for!
Anna Slaughter – LdM Study Abroad Semester in Florence, Fall 2015
During my semester in Tuscania, I took courses that allowed me to learn more about Italian culture and history, as well as explore the surrounding cities and their hidden treasures. One course in particular that I enjoyed was Food of Italy. It focused on creating an enjoyable atmosphere where we could have fun and appreciate what we were learning. A fellow classmate and I still continue to cook weekly, and always reminisce of our times spent in the classroom and the countless memories we made. After returning to my campus in the fall, I decided to declare an Italian Studies minor, as well as become a teacher’s assistant and tutor. My hopes are to transfer my love for the culture and experience onto others, so they will want to study abroad in Tuscania as well.
Cristina Deschaine, LdM Study Abroad Semester in Tuscania, Spring 2015
Studying at LdM has been a great experience, full of learning and growth. While trying to adjust to life in a completely new environment, it has been very nice to know that the supportive, helpful community at LdM is always available. One of the best parts of this school is being surrounded by professors who have a clear passion for the subject they teach and the students they work with. It has made learning that much more enjoyable! Also, I have really appreciated the amount of opportunities that are offered at LdM for making new connections. I was involved in LdM’s weekend trips, activities, and volunteer program, all of which I have enjoyed and have allowed me to make new bonds with people that I would not have met otherwise. Attending LdM has definitely enriched my time abroad, and I will continue to be thankful for the experiences I had.
Brianna Merriman, LdM Study Abroad Semester in Florence, Fall 2015
“The time length of four months is both short and long at the same time. It’s short in the sense that to experience all the various elements of Florence, it’s not enough; yet it’s long because you have enough time to become familiar with the day-to-day Italian lifestyle and culture. It’s too short of a time because you feel like you just met all your new friends and want to create more memories together; and yet it’s long enough to really fall in love with all of Florence’s beauty and romance. I’m glad I gave four months of my life to this city. My memories are not fading and no regrets.”
Zhan Zhang – LdM Study Abroad Semester in Florence, 2014
“I never imagined that I would spend an entire semester in another country. Although it was a tough decision to make, it is a decision I will never regret. Being the first person in my family to study abroad broadened my horizons. Studying abroad in Florence, Italy gave me a chance to experience a different culture and it definitely takes you out of your comfort zone. As a study abroad student you obtain the unique experience of taking classes that give you broader knowledge and you have the opportunity to immerse yourself in a new language and culture. Through my experience I learned a lot about myself and others. I’ve gotten much experience travelling on my own without groups or my parents with me, and although it had its frustrations, they’re lesson that I’m taking away with me. Not only do you have the opportunity to travel around Europe, but there are so many exciting things to see in the city. If I could, I would do it all over again.”
Courtney Barnes – LdM Study Abroad Semester in Florence, Fall 2015
“Traveling has always been a huge part of my life growing up. Although studying abroad was a last minute decision for me, I don’t regret it at all. This experience has really given me many opportunities to grow as a person, become more independent, and meet people from all around the world. Not only did I gain knowledge inside the classroom, I’ve also learned quite a bit outside the school setting while strolling around Florence and while traveling through Europe. The activities offered by LdM have definitely enhanced my experience overall, whether it be improving my cooking skills, introducing me to the history of wine or simply perfecting my artistic abilities. Also, I was able to make several new friends and connections through this program.”
Nilam Patel – LdM Study Abroad Semester in Florence, Fall 2015
“I had such an amazing time participating at the LdM campus in Tuscania. All of the people I met there became integral parts of my life, and I know that I will have memories of my time there for the rest of my life. While in Tuscania, I was able to meet so many new people; including my amazing host family and many local friends. The faculty and administrators at LdM Tuscania only made my experience more wonderful! They were helpful, friendly and willing to go out of their way to make sure that we had an amazing experience. It was wonderful to be able to experience the traditional Italian town, and I cannot wait to return in the future for a visit. Tuscania became my home away from home, and for that I will be forever grateful!”
Aubrey Milazzo – LdM Study Abroad Semester in Tuscania, Spring 2015
“When my family and friends would ask me what I expected to get out of my semester abroad, it was hard to find an answer. I knew it would be amazing and life changing, but I never could have imagined my time here at LdM would have such an impact on me. Hands on learning is an understatement. I am very excited to tell everyone that any expectations I did have before arriving here were blown out of the water tenfold, and I am so grateful to the amazing teachers and staff here at LdM for making this easily the best experience of my life to date.”
John Tyler Hoolahan – LdM Study Abroad student in Florence, Spring 2015
“It’s difficult to put into words how greatly my semester at LdM in Rome exceeded my expectations; and believe me when I tell you they were set really high. For someone who had never lived farther than a few hours from home, LdM provided a powerful adventure with the security of a comfortable, safe and structured learning environment. The out-of-classroom experiences that came with the majority of my classes made me realize how much more I can learn by living, and that life after education need not be a single, boring, same thing every day for the rest of my life kind of job, but I could take curiosity and the longing to grow into a number of career fields.”
Sarah Freeman -LdM Study Abroad Student in Rome – Spring 2013
“My experience in Tuscania is hard to put into words. While very much an interactive experience with my peers and host family, I found it to be the time in my life where I learned the most about myself. The Tuscania Lorenzo de Medici campus is small and tight-knit, while being in the center of the antique and historic part of the city center. I felt comfortable everywhere I went, made friends easily with the friendly and amicable locals, and truly feel that I made a second home. I will be back for you, Tuscania!”
Carly Whitmer – Tuscania Summer Session 2015
“Studying abroad in Florence with LdM has proven to be one of the best decisions of my life yet. My semester abroad has grown my understanding, knowledge and appreciation of Italy, and a huge part was developed through the wide variety of opportunities LdM provides for their students. I have partook in various cooking classes, cultural activities and volunteered. My time abroad has been wonderful, and I am thankful to LdM for the many enriching experiences they offer.”
Emily Gendrue – LdM Study Abroad Student in Florence, Spring 2014
“LdM was a wonderful place to learn while in Florence. I loved the classroom buildings nestled in amongst other Florentine homes and businesses. I truly felt like a local walking to my classes in the heart of the city! My professors were all very helpful and made themselves readily available if I needed extra help. The school also offered a plethora of club options, and I had a wonderful time in the Cooking Club which was held inside LdM’s own state-of-the -art kitchen inside the Mercato Centrale! LdM staff know that their students are eager to experience as much as they can while in Florence, and they make that goal very easy to achieve.”
Tyler Reilly – LdM Study Abroad Student in Florence, Fall 2014
“Upon first arriving in Florence, I was shell-shocked to say the least. Everything is new. You are in a new environment, new culture, new city, new home, among new people, and attending a new school. As with any new experience, at first, you feel out of place. However, while this feeling remains for at least the first couple of weeks, meeting the staff at LdM made this entire transition period much smoother. I remember my first week of classes when I was stressed trying to figure out how to switch around my class schedule, my advisor was calm and willing to take however much time I needed to try to organize my school life for the next four months. From this point on, I have had nothing but wonderful and welcoming interactions with the staff at LdM. From discussing my classes, to setting up a volunteer opportunity that fit my schedule and interests, as well as participating in various cultural activities throughout Florence, I honestly could not have imagined attending another university while abroad.”
Cassandra Kneblik – LdM Study Abroad Student in Florence, Spring 2015
“Lorenzo de’ Medici was extremely helpful and informative throughout my entire study abroad experience. I took many interesting classes that I otherwise could not take at my home institution that greatly expanded my knowledge in my geography major. I certainly couldn’t be in a more ideal location as an aspiring urban and regional planner! In addition to fascinating classes, LdM offered many various free activities and volunteering opportunities that allowed me to explore the city in more depth. I volunteered to teach English to children at a local Italian primary school and again at an Italian high school. It was very eye-opening to directly communicate with locals. I also volunteered for clean-ups around the city. It was fun and rewarding to see how so many Florentines are eager to keep this city looking beautiful. There are many activities offered, my favorite were the ones where I had a chance to taste different dishes and beverages from all over the country, and also received recipes to make those dishes at home. However, there are many to choose from! I would recommend LdM to anyone who was interested in studying abroad and harnessing everything Florence (or any other LdM campus) has to offer!”
Fiona Coughlan Study Abroad Student in Florence, Fall 2014
“Once considered the heart of Europe, Florence is a breathtaking city, full of art, architecture and history. As home of the Renaissance, there is no other city with such economic, cultural, political and artistic background. Living in Florence being a student is one of the best experiences that anyone could have, but if you are lucky enough to be part of LdM, you will realize that you are more than just any student. It’s amazing how the school can have all their classrooms just a few steps away from breathtaking landmarks. The staff of the school is not only a staff, but a group of amazing and helpful people that will make you feel like Florence is your home. If you decide to take part in the activities of LdM, the best food and wine tastings, city-tours, and museums, will be just few of the various events in your agenda. There are dozens of reasons why Lorenzo de’ Medici is the best school to study abroad in Florence; choosing just one wouldn’t be enough.”
Paloma Arias Solorzano Study Abroad Student in Florence, Fall 2014
“My experiences at LdM were so much better than I ever could have imagined. With the help of the LdM staff and other students, I grew so much in my semester in Firenze. I learned much more than who the Medici were or were the Roman baths are located across the city. Although all of that is very interesting, this semester means the world to me because of the incredible people I met and experiences I was able to have because of Lorenzo de’ Medici. I will always carry a piece of Firenze with me in everything I do, thanks to Lorenzo de’ Medici!”
Kaitlin Collins – Study Abroad Student in Florence, Spring 2014
LdM offered me a new perspective in education. Not only have I gained useful knowledge from experienced professors, I also met new people. LdM helped me with networking that will aid me down the line when it comes to employment. Moreover, I was able to dedicate my spare time to volunteering, and getting submerged in to a new culture. Studying at LdM was a life changing experience, where one can grow as a person.
Andrei Harabadji – LdM Study Abroad Student in Florence, Spring 2014
“Studying abroad is something that you expect to be defined by combination of excitement and fear. But because of my experience with LdM, I realized there was no need for the last part. Between the weekly activities they offer to help you get to know the city and the culture, and the welcome dinners, and the staff that is genuinely interested in your wellbeing and helping you make the best of your experience, there’s no room for fear. There are certain things I know made my experience in Florence, and the school I chose is one of them.”
Rose Fall – LdM Study Abroad Student in Florence, Spring 2014
My favorite part of my experience in Florence would have to be the activities that LdM offers throughout the week. There is such a wide range and they are all so interesting that you have to get to sign-ups early to reserve a spot! That is how popular they are! Attending these activities I got to see and experience firsthand some authentic, Italian traditions and culture. From Florentine paper artisans to carnival folk dances, I did it all. The most enriching one was when I hiked 10 miles throughout Fiesole, which is something I would have never done if LdM didn’t present the option. I got to see another side of Florence through these activities and also met new people that had the same interests as me.”
Caroline Mary Jewell – LdM Study Abroad Student in Florence, Spring 2014