Where in the World is VCU? Studying Abroad in Italy

Victoria Esposito, Junior Fashion Merchandising major

Junior Victoria Esposito spent the summer with part of VCU’s study abroad program in Florence, Italy at Santa Reparata International School of Art studying fashion merchandising and Italian language.WIW 3

Where were you this summer?

Studying in Florence, Italy and traveling the country (including Rome, Siena, Milan, Venice, Chianti, Livorno, Cinque Terre, Island of Capri, Positano, Sorrento, and Pompeii).

How long were you in Italy?

Five weeks, taking classes and traveling the country afterwards.

What were you there for?

I took two fashion merchandising classes, one was fashion forecasting where we learned how to predict upcoming trends and interests and the other was an Italian fashion language class where we learned some Italian to describe fashion as well as learn the most influential Italian fashion designers.

What do you think of Italy?

Italy is a beautiful country with so much history and culture to learn about and experience. Living in a foreign country comes with it’s challenges such as adapting to the lifestyle. Although living in Florence was such a blessing because it has so much to do with endless restaurants, shops, museums, and gelato! I became quite used to living over there and getting to know my way around the city. It’s definitely a place I plan on going to again. From the point of view of a fashion major, it was a great place to see the difference between local Italian fashion mixed with the tourists from other countries and comparing it to the trends in America. While we were there we had the opportunity to visit two fashion trade shows which gave us valuable insight into what’s to come in trends.

Favorite experience?

WIW2My favorite experience was traveling Italy, and my favorite place we went to was down to the Amalfi Coast. We stayed at a hostel in Sorrento. It was a 3 day trip, the first day we went to the Island of Capri where took a boat tour, ate the local cuisine and spent the day enjoying the beach. The second day we visited Positano where we kayaked and enjoyed the beach and the mountainside views. The last day we hiked up Mount Vesuvius and roamed through the ruins of Pompeii.

Do you have advice for students who want to study abroad?

My advice to students planning on studying abroad is to really save your money and bring plenty of euros or whatever currency that particular country uses. It can be quite expensive to take money out. Also definitely be prepared to do a lot of walking and/or hiking – it’s best to get in shape before you leave so you aren’t struggling. Lastly, take in as much of the local experience as you can! Sometimes you find the best places to eat or the best shops if you just go out and explore, so don’t be afraid to get lost.

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