My dream came true last summer, and I am still living in the past. I was able to do an international internship in Florence, Italy and what a trip it was! I was blessed with an opportunity to work with two brands, Steve Madden and UGG, to monitor global markets for new and upcoming styles and trends, import and export shoes (especially when preparing for Florence Men’s Fashion Week), and assist sales vendors in the English language.
I was able to learn side-by-side with my coworkers to navigate international business and open my eyes to another part of the world. My coworkers welcomed me with open arms, and our first step was to try and tackle the language barrier. They were the kindest and most encouraging women that could welcome me in such a new environment. We became friends easily and I still talk to them today!
Now don’t believe this blog will be all work no play! I am a huge foodie and Italy exceeded my expectations beyond belief, and they were pretty high to begin with. From the Florentine Bistec, to watching my pasta be cooked in an alfredo cheese wheel, I was able to experience every foodie’s dream: eating high quality and volume of great food. There were plenty of family style restaurants that had more outside seating than you can imagine, and the people-watching was top tier, too. Eating in front of the Duomo is a memory I will never forget.
I mainly stayed in Florence throughout the summer for the internship, but I was able to travel all over Italy and even made my way to Austria and Hungary for a bit. The northern and southern parts of Italy were different but held the same atmosphere. The northern Tuscany region was rich with breathtaking views of rolling green hills and vineyards for miles (for my fellow U.S. residents I promise I am 21!). The southern part was all beach and ocean which did not disappoint at all.
I was also able to visit Cinque Terre, which is a string of centuries-old seaside villages on the rugged Italian Riviera coastline. There was an array of multicolored houses and markets and sand all along the coastline. My camera roll is stacked and ready for reminiscing.
I am here to tell you: if you are thinking of studying/working/going abroad, GO! It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity as a student and tagging along with other students is a whole other experience itself. I will always remember my lovely summer in Italy and would not trade it for the world!
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