Architecture Student Transitions to Life Studying Abroad in Florence, Italy

Kent State Study Abroad Student: Emily Hovest

Emily Hovest is a third-year student studying architecture at Kent State’s Florence Center for the Spring semester. It was always her desired destination, especially since the KSU architecture program encourages students to study abroad their junior year. “Italy has strong ties to architecture and being here gives me the opportunity to see it all firsthand and interact with the architecture I’ve been learning about since freshman year.”

Arriving on January 7th, she was a little overwhelmed but soon found a comfortable routine. She says her transition to the Florentine lifestyle was made easier thanks to friends who came abroad with her. “There’s little cultural differences that I’ve had to adjust to,” she says. “Some include hanging our laundry out to dry and going grocery shopping more frequently since we buy less at a time.” Like many other students from the United States studying abroad, Emily has also had to adjust to walking and using public transportation to get from place to place. 

Most of Emily’s classes are designed around their Italian setting. She is taking a sketching and drawing class which allows her to explore Florence as she learns drawing techniques. She also has a course about reading cities that requires field trips to surrounding historical cities, guiding students to travel outside of Florence. 

Additionally, Emily is not staying within the confines of the Italian border. Since arriving, she and her friends have taken a trip to Barcelona, Spain, and plan to take advantage of their proximity to other European countries. They also traveled to Venice for a Masquerade ball one weekend.

Ultimately, Emily is extremely excited for the rest of her semester in central Italy. She looks forward to her mom and sister visiting but also continuing her classes. “Not only does [Florence] have a great connection to my major but I get to learn all about a different culture.”

Learn more abotu the Florence Semester program here!

POSTED: Thursday, May 19, 2022 07:44 AM
UPDATED: Friday, July 12, 2024 11:07 PM
Arden Miller, Kent State Department of English and OGE Spring Intern