Nicole Fellowship Introduction

Ciao and welcome to my study abroad blog!  My name is Nicole Golownia and I am a sophomore pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with an emphasis in graphic design and a certificate in dance.  This spring semester I am studying in Florence, Italy at the Santa Reparata International School of Art.  I have been in Florence for about two weeks and already have learned so much about Italy’s exceptional culture, rich history, traditional foods, delicious coffee, and of course world-renowned art.

I am honored to be a Global Gateway fellowship recipient.  I first heard about the Global Gateway fellowship from a newsletter email from the Office of Student Financial Aid.  After checking if I was eligible, I quickly realized the fellowship could help me fulfill my dream of studying abroad.  The fellowship allows me to learn from a network of international voices and engage with topics that I hope to further explore upon my return to Madison.

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Me across from Ponte Vecchio       

I chose to study abroad at SRISA because the school offers an exceptional breadth of art and design courses.  I just finished my third day of classes, and already love how the professors integrate the city into the curriculum.  I am taking Italian Renaissance Art History, in which I will visit iconic Renaissance paintings and sculpture.  I am also taking a sculpture course; what explore new materials than the home of Michelangelo’s David?  I am also taking digital photography, and I am excited to experience the Florentine environment from through my camera lens.  Additionally, I am taking a trend forecasting class in which we explore social and economic forces behind trends and translate them into fashion forecasts, paying particular attention to the Italian apparel industry.  For example, I have an upcoming field trip to the Pitti Filati yarns and knitwear trend forecast fair and the Vintage Selection market exhibition with the class.  Finally, I am taking a travel writing course.  I am looking forward to using my experiences abroad as source material for my writing.

One goal for my time abroad is to attend as many museums and galleries as possible.  I have already visited multiple museums with my classmates on a weekend trip to Turin.  I had the opportunity to see the Museo Egizio (Egyptian Museum), the National Cinema Museum in the Mole Antonelliana tower, and the Royal Palace of Turin and Chapel of the Holy Shroud.  A personal goal for my time abroad is to embrace a new culture and cultivate a globally conscious mindset.  While I have experienced a bit of culture shock, I am so grateful to be in Florence and cannot wait to discover all the city has to offer.

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View of Florence from the Piazzale Michelangelo