Becoming a Global Citizen in Florence

Ciao! I can’t believe I’m finishing up my sixth week in Florence, Italy.  It has been quite a journey, and I am so thankful for this amazing experience I have had.  I have really been enjoying studying in Florence and learning all about the city. 

Through my Analyzing and Exploring the Global City: Florence class, I had to do some field work in a neighborhood, Il Prato di Ognissanti, for a presentation and paper.  Conducting this field work allowed me to work on my analytical skills while actively taking detailed notes.  Additionally, I was able to interview some local Florentines to hear their views on tourism, the city center of Florence, and the economy of Italy.  While conducting these interviews, I strengthened my communication skills while working with the language barrier between English and Italian.  I had to problem solve and learn how to communicate in other ways to be able to thoroughly understand the person I was interviewing by using methods such as google translate or finding another person nearby who could speak both English and Italian to assist me in understanding the local, I was interviewing. For this project, I had to use critical thinking to create a cognitive map in my mind and I used psychogeography to analyze the neighborhood I was in.  After collecting my research, I used analytical skills to create my essay and make connections between the suburbs and city center of Florence to relate to topics we have discussed in class including the economy, culture, and politics. Additionally, I collaborated with peers to make a presentation for class.  In this class, I was able to learn about the economy and politics of not only Florence and Italy, but about global cities and the world economy, and how tourism is a large factor in the Florence economy.  It has been an amazing experience learning about the global economy and politics.  I think an important part of being a business student is being globally aware and having knowledge on a global scale, and my study abroad experience is giving me access to all these things.  I was able to first-hand experience the culture of Florence and learn about traditions and customs specific to the area, such as going to museums and landmarks to see the rich history of the city, eating traditional Florentine dishes such as lampredotto, visiting the site of Calcio Fiorentino, a historic sport that is only played in Florence, and most importantly interacting with the local community.  Being in Florence has made me a more well-rounded individual and a global citizen, preparing me for future professional opportunities. 

Overall, being here in Florence has been a great step out of my comfort zone.  I was worried about being so far away from home for a large period of time, but as soon as I got here all those worries went away!  I had to learn the importance of adaptability and being flexible and open to change in different situations.   No matter how much planning one does, things will never always go as planned, making adaptability a crucial element of professional development.  Being on my own, I have been able to strengthen my emotional intelligence to overcome challenges and understand others.  My time in Florence has enabled me to see the importance of being a global citizen and be able to think globally minded to improve the global community as a whole.

HeidT01: A gorgeous view of Florence from the top of the Duomo.
HeidT02: Spicy spaghetti, one of my favorite meals I’ve had in Florence!
HeidT03: The sunset above the Arno River, showing traffic on the bridge leading towards the Porta al Prato.