By: Katherine DeVito, Fashion Merchandising and Management student

Ever since I was deciding which colleges to apply to, I’ve known that I wanted to study abroad. This semester I finally decided to take the plunge and study abroad in a totally different country where I didn’t know anyone or even the language spoken. This was a big move for me, however, I completely fell in love with Florence, Italy. The planning for this trip was a year in the making with a lot of thought based on where to go and for how long, so I thought I would share the main reasons why I chose to study abroad and why you should consider studying abroad.

  • Full exposure to a different culture

For me, Italy was a no brainer because my family is originally from southern Italy. I thought this would be the perfect time to reconnect with my roots and to learn how Italians live their day to day life.

  • Food

Food was another reason why I decided to study abroad, because Italian food is my absolute favorite, and basically what I eat every day.  So far I’ve learned that “alfredo sauce” and “spaghetti and meatballs” are not at all Italian, they were completely made up by Americans. But the typical Italian does consume lots of pasta, pizza, gelato, and espresso, which I can’t get enough of!

  • Change of scenery

Going to school in NYC could be hectic, so I thought it would be nice to experience a smaller city with a more concise culture. Florence is composed of typical renaissance architecture that dates back hundreds and hundreds of years, and is extremely breathing taking. Florence has the Arno river running through it, providing some peace while crossing the bridge to get to the other side of Florence, which is filled with pizzerias, gelaterias, cathedrals, and designer shops.

  • To see how the fashion industry functions in Italy

Milan is one of the fashion capitals of the world, alongside NYC and Paris. Florence is slightly behind Milan in terms of fashion, but still has a strong presence. Down the street from my apartment is “Via de’ Tornabuoni”, which is the equivalent of 5th avenue in NYC, featuring almost every luxury brand you can think of. Just people watching on this street serves to understand the local fashion.

  • Learning a new language

In school I’ve always taken Spanish, which has served to be very useful in general. I’ve learned that the fashion industry in NYC could involve communication with Italy and other countries like China, so the more languages you know, the better. Learning more languages can’t hurt you, so why not learn as many as you can?!

For me, studying abroad seemed to fit into my life perfectly and serves to further my knowledge of the world. If you are questioning studying abroad, consider how it could affect you academically and in the long run, it could change your life!



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About Berkeley College

Berkeley College, established in 1931, is a regionally accredited college providing excellence in teaching and learning through a student-focused approach to career education. Berkeley College offers Bachelor's and Associate's degrees, Certificate programs, and non-degree professional courses at campuses in New Jersey, New York, and through Berkeley College Online. A Master of Business Administration degree is offered in Woodland Park, NJ, and online. The college enrolls over 7,100 students (more than 440 international students, representing nearly 75 countries).


Fashion, Katherine DeVito


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