During my time here in Florence I have learned so much and my experiences are contributing greatly to my professional development. My view on it is that studying abroad in general helps you gain so many transferable skills. Adaptability seems to be the one to stick out most to me as there are so many unfamiliar situations we are put in and you really need to be able to figure things out on your own. You need to be adaptable in business as well as there are so many unique situations that occur. While Florence is a popular tourist destination with many English speaking places, there is still a language barrier that you need to work through. In my “Analyzing and Exploring the Global City of Florence ” class, we needed to observe a neighborhood outside of the historical city center, where the majority of the tourism is, and I experienced much more of a language barrier here. This was most noticeable in the interviews we needed to conduct with the locals of the neighborhood. We did these in order to really understand what life was like for Florentines and their views on things like tourism in the city center. While this was difficult to get the answers at first, we were adaptable and able to get the answers we needed! This goes along with communication skills which are greatly needed in the professional world. Along with gaining general communication skills, I also had to do presentations on what we learned throughout the semester, which was great for public speaking. Public speaking is something that the only way to improve is through practice, so this experience was very useful in becoming more comfortable in doing so.
Continuing on, another thing that I have gotten much better at is wanting to go out and explore on my own. When I first came to Florence I was much more hesitant to do anything on my own as it was very unfamiliar and I had been warned to be careful being in a country that I am not used to. Once I became more comfortable, I now love exploring on my own and have gotten much better at having an internal compass or a cognitive map. Especially since we walk everywhere in Florence, it has been very necessary to know my way around without holding my phone out with my maps up all the time. All of this has greatly increased my confidence in my ability to do things and be adaptable on my own, which is so incredibly important in the professional world.