Claire Buckley '15 recently spent three and a half months studying abroad in Italy through her school, Providence College and the Florence University of the Arts program.
The experience surpassed anything Claire could have expected. She arrived in Florence, Italy in late August 2017. She knew no one in her program. "Immediately, I met fifteen girls," said Claire. "We were all in the same boat. We had never been that far away from home. We clicked very quickly."
Classes were held on Mondays through Thursdays. All classes were in English. One of her teachers was an American who moved to Florence in 2010. The rest were Italian. Claire took four core classes for her liberal arts program and one elective where she learned Italian.
When Claire wasn't attending class or studying, she and her friends traveled throughout Europe. During her three month stay, she visited Munich, Dublin, Budapest, Prague, Paris, Interlaken, Zurich, London, Amsterdam and Copenhagen. She also explored many places in Italy including Rome and the Amalfi Coast.
"There was so much in Florence," said Claire. "I didn't want to miss a thing. Our classes finished at 11:30am on Wednesdays. We saw so much including the Statue of David, the Academia and many local churches. My parents and brother also came to visit me. We toured the city together."
Italy was always appealing to Claire. This influenced her decision to study and live there. She always heard about the beauty and the history of it. Experiencing the art, architecture, culture and people was life-changing.
"I have such a greater appreciation for the world, particularly Europe," she said. "I also got a great appreciation for home and my parents. One time, I was missing home, but I didn't want to worry them. Part of the experience is realizing how much you appreciate home. I was so happy when my family came out to visit me. I wanted everyone at home to experience what I was experiencing."