International Studies Institute at Palazzo Rucellai
Up one level
Kiera Sargent

Liberal Arts Major: English
Minor: Italian
Hometown: Clifton, Virginia
Experience Time: Summer 2022

Give us a brief summary of your experience?

I studied in Florence, Italy for six weeks with the International Studies Institute. They had two academic buildings in the city and I had one class in each building. I took two classes total and I learned about the history and culture of Italian food in one course and the concept of sustainability in the fashion industry. Both classes had enriching discussions, experiences, and field trips in which I was able to participate. On the weekends, I had the opportunity to travel with my roommates and friends which all were such memorable trips that I will never forget.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Overall, the entire study abroad experience has been very rewarding personally and academically. Not only was I able to experience and understand myself in a completely new environment, I was also able to learn about Italy's culture, history, ways of life, social habits, food and drinking customs, and much more. The classes I took while abroad were very enlightening and refreshing topics that a student doesn't necessarily get while in the United States. Plus, almost every experience or activity abroad will provide students an opportunity for learning and growth.

"Not only was I able to experience and understand myself in a completely new environment, I was also able to learn about Italy's culture, history, ways of life, social habits, food and drinking customs, and much more."

How will this experience impact your career goals?

For the past few years, I have been struggling to find a specific field that I want to pursue for my career. Yet, this study abroad experience helped me determine that I really enjoy the intricacies and details that are behind the fashion industry, so I would love to pursue that as part of my career. Additionally, I have learned while in Florence that I enjoy living in the chaos of a city, so I will most likely search for a job located in a city after graduation.

How has the College of the Liberal Arts helped you to find and/or succeed in this experience (e.g., adviser, faculty, staff, enrichment funds, etc.)?

While talking to an adviser, she mentioned to me the various scholarships offered by Penn State for study abroad students and sent me a link to a page with a comprehensive list of all scholarships that could be applicable to my study abroad. In this list, I found the College of the Liberal Arts Enrichment Funds Scholarship and decided to apply. Their contribution to my study abroad experience has been very generous and tremendously helpful in limiting the financial stress of the trip.

For more information on education abroad for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.
Return to Top