International Connections


Madison Adams

Major: Apparel, Merchandising, and Design


Minor/option/emphasis: Merchandising

Year: Senior
Hometown, State: Waukee, Iowa

Type of experience: Summer Abroad
Experience: Summer in Italy- Lorenzo De Medici
Experience website: http://isuabroad.iastate.edu/?go=LDMsummer
Destination: Italy

Overall experience..
I got to wake up everyday in Florence, Italy. It was an amazing experience filled with learning about a new culture, myself and immersing myself in my major. My roommates became my life long friends. We did everything together. We made meals, traveled, and explored our home away from home together. I got to eat the best food I have ever had and it was all worth every calorie. I also got to learn about luxury fashion in the heart of Florence.

I learned...
I learned about this specific opportunity from my friend Katrine. I heard about study abroad before I even began school at Iowa State. I went back and forth on which program would work best for me. I decided on Italy because it would give me the opportunity to travel and be with my friend.

An impact to my life...
This was the most amazing experience of my life. It taught me to be more thoughtful of other people and their cultures. There were so many friendly people I met from various countries so it was a good reminder to always be kind to everyone. I also became very comfortable with everything traveling. Before I left for my trip it was something I was very nervous about doing in general and on my own. Now I am completely comfortable with almost all forms of transportation. Also, overall just adapting to a new culture. I also got to learn about luxury fashion. This is a class that I wouldn't get at Iowa State because luxury brands are not in Iowa. It gave me new information to consider when moving ahead in my career.

My most valuable learning experience...
There were so many friendly people I met from various countries so it was a good reminder to always be kind to everyone. There are a lot of people who visit the United States from other countries and my struggles helped me to better understand others have when coming here. It is so important to be aware of others and to always be kind to people. I know I appreciated the help of those.

I will never forget...
The most memorable experience I have was my trip to Greece. The people were so friendly and you could tell they were genuine the moment we stepped off the plane. It was the most beautiful place I have ever seen and we met so many amazing people.

A surprising discovery...
Something I was shocked to learn about from my class was what it was like to work in an actual luxury store. I appreciated learning about the various brands but, it was not the retail I was used to. Another thing that surprised me was Florence in general. It was so different from the United States and many other places. Its also shocking how easy and inexpensive traveling can be. If you plan right and do your research you can see all sorts of amazing places.

Advice for others...
Absolutely do it. I recommend budgeting and trying to plan ahead to get all the touristy things in the city you will be living in out of the way and then traveling. Take advantage of every opportunity. I recommend doing everything. Even if you're hesitant you will only regret what you didn't do. Something that helped me was thinking about how long it would be before I had this opportunity again, if I did. It is going to seem like a lot but the memories are worth it.

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