Florence Global Ambassadors

Name: Shannon Bozman ’20

Major: Public Relations & Sociology

Semester Abroad: Fall 2018

What was your most valuable experience abroad? My most valuable experience abroad was learning how independent I can be and how valuable a solo travel experience is. I never thought I would be able to spend a weekend by myself in a foreign city I’d never been to before and have just as much fun, if not more, than I had had on weekend trips with my friends. I truly found out so much about myself during my time abroad and I can honestly say I have grown so much as a person because of each and every experience I had.

Contact: srbozman@syr.edu

Name: Rocio (Pondi) Carrero ’23

Major: Environmental and Interior Design

Semester Abroad: Discovery Florence Fall 2018

What was your most valuable experience abroad? Living with a host family and feeling like I was just another member of their family. I also really loved traveling and discovering new places with friends.

Contact: rcarrero@syr.edu

Name: Lucy Dunn ’20

Major: Food Studies

Semester Abroad: Fall 2018

What was your most valuable experience abroad? I believe, one of the most beneficial experiences of the Florence program is the opportunity to stay with a host family. In Florence, I lived with a single mom, and her nine year old daughter. They were so welcoming when I arrived and throughout my time there. My host mother was an incredible cook and catered to my food allergies and made sure I was always comfortable in their home. She gave me advice, tutored me in Italian, and was ultimately my support system when things got tough. I still keep in touch with my host mom, even after I left Florence, living with them and being a part of their family was the best part of my experience in Italy.

Contact: lpdunn@syr.edu

Jill FabianoName: Jillian Fabiano ’20

Hometown: Weymouth, MA

Major: Undeclared

Semester Abroad: Fall 2017

What did you wish you had known before going abroad? It is a lot less nerve-wracking than I thought it would be. Going as a sophomore, and not knowing anyone else in the program, I had the fear of, “what if I don’t make any friends?” Those fears disappeared as soon as I got to the airport. I instantly realized how friendly everyone on the program was and how everyone was in the same boat as me. I thought that it was going to be all juniors from SU that had friendships already established, but that was not the case at all. I have shared some of my favorite memories with the friends that I met abroad, and I know that they are friends that I will have for the rest of my life. (We have already talked about how there is going to be a “Florence” table for everyone to sit at each of our weddings!)

Contact: jafabian@syr.edu

Name: Sarah Ferranti ’20

Major: Accounting & Finance

Semester Abroad: Fall 2018

What was your most valuable experience abroad? My most valuable experience was visiting the village in southern Italy where my grandparents grew up. I was able to meet my 3 cousins there and we spent the weekend together. We only spoke in Italian and I really felt like I was integrated into the Italian culture by spending time with them. It was such an amazing experience to be able to see where my grandparents had lived.

Contact: sferrant@syr.edu

Name: Andy Guzman ’22

Major: International Relations

Semester Abroad: Discovery Florence Fall 2018

What was your most valuable experience abroad? One of the most valuable things about being abroad is the ability have first-hand experiences in the country you live in. Personally for me, on a school trip to Rome, the Vatican and Naples, I was completely enthralled by all of the beautiful works of art that surrounded me. I had never been one for visual art in the past but because I had been right in front of some of the most famous and breathtaking pieces in history, like the Sistine Chapel ceiling , I was able to gain a deeper appreciation and love for art.

Contact: aguzma10@syr.edu

Name: Tyler Keech ’20

Major: Accounting & Marketing

Semester Abroad: Fall 2018

What was your most valuable experience abroad? Getting able to live for 3 and a half months in Florence was my most valuable experience. Being able to live with an Italian host mom and being immersed into a completely different culture was such a valuable experience to be able to grow as a person. My daily life, friends I made, and food I ate when abroad were all things that I will never forget.

Contact: tkeech@syr.edu

Name: Katie Krapf ’20

Major: Accounting & Marketing

Semester Abroad: Fall 2018

What was your most valuable experience abroad? The most valuable part of my abroad experience was living with my host family. Originally when I was deciding which program I wished to participate in I was drawn away from those with host family living situations. After experiencing abroad with a host family, I couldn’t imagine doing it any other way. My host family made Florence feel like home, they made me feel comfortable in a place that was new and foreign to me. It allowed me to gain an insight into the Florentine culture and experience aspects of their culture that I couldn’t have read about or had someone tell me about.

Every night at family dinners I was constantly learning about new parts of the Italian way of life. Living with a host family I was introduced to so many new cultural foods and traditions. My host family was a great resource for all my needs while abroad. From simple things such as asking for directions in Florence or asking any culture questions I wouldn’t be comfortable asking anyone else. I was also more motivated to learn the Italian language and my host family was more than willing to help me in my Italian studies.

Contact: kmkrapf@syr.edu

Name: Antonia Mascitelli ’20

Major: Political Science & Psychology

Semester Abroad: Fall 2018

What was your most valuable experience abroad? My most valuable experience while I was abroad was staying with a host family. Although my host father spoke no English, and my host sister spoke very little, it allowed for my roommate and I to be truly challenged each night at dinner. Typically, we would attempt to use as much Italian as we knew at the time, but often resorted to hand gestures and random noises to get our objectives across. It was amazing to see how much we were able to communicate without being able to really speak to one another. This time with family was valuable to me because their house created a safe space, one where I genuinely felt at home, because of the relationship that I had with the entire family.

Contact: ammascit@syr.edu

Julia RileyName: Julia Riley ’20

Hometown: Ossining, NY

Majors: Chemistry and neuroscience

Semester Abroad: Fall 2017

What was your most valuable experience abroad? I’ve taken Italian for about eight years now and my roommate had a similar background, and since my host mother didn’t really speak or understand English we spoke only Italian at home. The result was incredible; throughout those four months, I went from stumbling awkwardly through sentences to feeling like I could really express myself in Italian– sometimes, it felt, in ways that I wouldn’t even be able to otherwise because of the existence of certain words and moods that simply don’t exist in the English language. Both my appreciation for the language and culture and the hands-on lessons I learned through Italian history about the need to actively participate in society to promote good in the world will stay ingrained in me for years to come.

Contact: juriley@syr.edu

Izmailia SougoufaraName: Izmailia Sougoufara ’20

Hometown: Cleveland, OH

Majors: Neuroscience and biology

Semesters Abroad: Fall 2016 (Discovery Florence); Summer 2017 (Paris Noir)

What would you say to a student undecided about going abroad? This is not an opportunity you want to pass up and constantly wonder how your life would have been different if you hadn’t. All the places you’ll see, things you’ll learn, and people you’ll meet are irreplaceable. Aside from the specific skills you’ll gain like learning a new language, being exposed to a new culture, and learning to navigate in a new space, you will begin broadening your perspective and forming a more adaptable mindset. Studying abroad gives you an edge, makes you unique and sets you apart from your future competition.

Contact: isougouf@syr.edu

brian florence

Name: Brian Cordova ’21

Major: Architecture

Semester Abroad: Spring 2019: Syracuse London; Fall 2019: Syracuse Florence; Short-term program: Mediterranean Food & Culture

What was your most unforgettable experience in your host country? One of the most valuable experiences I learned to appreciate was having the exposure of being in a completely new environment. While in Florence I was immersed in a whole new culture which included accepting and broadening my perspective on languages, different lifestyles, classroom settings, food customs, and much more (to name a few). From this, some of my most humbling and unforgettable experiences had to come from communicating with locals, staff, travelers and strangers alike whether that be in their home or foreign language such as Italian, German, Spanish, or English.


Topics I’m comfortable discussing: Race & Ethnicity, Adjusting to a foreign language, Allergies & dietary needs, Cultural Immersion, Financing study away, First time abroad, Fitting study abroad into your home campus experience, Preparing for departure