Here are stories from students who took part in the Kent State School of Fashion Florence Study Away program.

“Study abroad has given me the edge in my career. When I started interviewing for jobs out of college, employers told me that my global knowledge set me apart from the other candidates. My time in Florence also gave me privileged insight into the global fashion industry. Now, when I’m working with fine leather goods and Italian brands, I can truly appreciate where they come from, as we learned how these items are made during our study tour. I feel like I underhe international fashion industry a whole lot more than my co-workers thanks to this incredible experience!”

Jayne Garofolo
Visual Merchandiser, Nordstroms, Chicago, IL 
BS Fashion Merchandising with a minor in Fashion Media, 2017

“Studying in Florence was amazing. I’ll never forget everything I learned about the culture and the people I met along the way. I was also able to learn how to design accessories such as shoes and purses during an internship. If I could do it again, I’d fly out there in a heartbeat!”

Zachary Tatoczenko
Fashion Design Intern at Spec'd Studio, New York, NY
BFA Fashion Design, 2020

“Study-Away is a great opportunity to learn more about yourself. I challenged my boundaries and found myself in situations that may have been a little difficult at that time, but I pushed through. In the corporate world, I’ve realized that’s really important. You’re not always in situations where it’s easy or comfortable. Now, I work for Sak’s Fifth Avenue on the marketing team. I can confidently say that I wouldn’t be able to excel in my job today if hadn’t spent time studying in Florence."

Emily Crandall
Brand Marketing Coordinator, Sak’s Fifth Avenue New York, NY
BS Fashion Merchandising, minors in Fashion Media and Marketing, 2016

“I’ll be forever grateful for my time in Florence. It gave me the opportunity to grow personally and professionally, make life-long friendships, and gain valuable insight into different cultures. The courses, projects, and various fieldtrips across Europe helped me gain knowledge and experience that I still use to this day in my career.  I think about Europe and my Study-Away experience almost every day. Even though I’m not working in fashion at the moment, spending time studying at the Fashion School, and in Florence gave me opportunities to gain merchandising experience that has helped me secure my current position.”

JJ Martin
Assistant Buyer at Guitar Center’s Headquarters for Live Sound in the Greater Los Angeles Area, California
BS in Fashion Merchandising (with minors in Business, Marketing and Computer Information Systems), 2018

“My semesters in Florence showed me that careers in the fashion industry aren’t just limited to designer or merchandiser. Museums like the Uffizi Galleries, the Palazzo Pitti Costume Galleries, and many more helped me realize I wanted to be a costume historian. Now, thanks to my time in Florence, I’ve been able to combine all my loves in life, fashion design, art history, and world history, into a career that I enjoy every day.”

Ginger Stanciel
Graduate Teaching Assistant, Apparel, Merchandising, and Design Program, Dept of Apparel, Events, and Hospitality Management, Iowa State University, Ames, IA
BA Fashion Design (minors: Italian Studies, Art History), 2020

“I have nothing but positive things to say about my time studying in Florence. It was beyond what I could have ever hoped for. The teachers and curriculum were all incredible, and I had the opportunity to travel and experience different cultures. It also gave me the opportunity to explore menswear and find my passion. Now, I’m constantly on the lookout for career opportunities that can take me back to Europe.”

Meaghan Elder
Associate Product Manager at National Safety Apparel, Cleveland, Ohio
BA Fashion Design, 2016

“As well as taking international fashion classes during my time in Florence, I was able to intern at a local perfumery, AquaFlor Firenze. It was an unforgettable experience that I still talk about to this day! Now, I find my study abroad experience and internship are always the main topics of my job and internship interviews. I think being able to say I studied, lived, and interned in a different country really sets me apart from other candidates. I gained so much knowledge and amazing life experiences while abroad."

Marina Zampese
Assistant Product Developer at Nordstrom
BS Fashion Merchandising, Spring 2019