On August 25, 2019, a new adventure began for me. I left the Pittsburgh airport to study abroad in Florence, Italy for the fall semester, along with four other Grove City students. Since I have an older brother who studied abroad in Florence in 2015, I knew that it was something I wanted to do during my time here at Grove City College. As my mother is Italian, I had visited Italy and other European countries in the past. I saw studying abroad to be a three-month-long vacation with college friends, getting to travel Europe on my own.
The application process was not too difficult, just taking a lot of time, energy, and especially patience. The Office of Global Programs here on campus suggested that I break it up into two parts. First, I chose to apply through Grove City. At this point, you decide where you want to study, which program to select (if there are any that interest you), and which classes will transfer credits to your major. Since my brother did this years before, I already knew my plan. I was looking to live in Florence and direct enroll into a university there called Lorenzo de’ Medici. This was the cheapest and most hassle-free option I could find that Grove City offered, on top of it being the exact plan my brother used.
Finding classes that offered transferable credit to Grove City College took time. I needed to request a class catalog from Lorenzo de’ Medici, find the class that interested me, download and print the syllabus, and, finally, have it approved by the head of the Business Department (as I am a Business major). I did this for all the classes I took in Florence, because the College makes sure that any classes taken abroad fulfill on-campus requirements. After getting my classes signed off, I had to start the application process directly with Lorenzo de’ Medici. This process included filling out an over-five-page application, sending in college transcripts with my past grades and GPA, and–the hardest part–scheduling an appointment with the Italian consulate in Pittsburgh to fill out yet another application to obtain my student Visa. This entire process took the span of a few months during the spring semester of 2019, and I did not end up finding out that I had been accepted until mid-July! All in all, the process was not too difficult and can be easily done if broken into steps. Check out my next blog post to hear about some experiences and why you should consider studying abroad through Grove City College!