4 Takeaways from My Time Studying and Interning in Florence

May 10, 2019 12:03:00 PM / by Daniel Arnabar

In his last blog entry on studying abroad, Daniel reflects on his time in Florence and captures the 4 important lessons he absorbed along the way from living, studying, interning, and enjoying life in a new country and culture. While this may be a goodbye, he is grateful for all that he has experienced in this enchanting city and counts this as one of the best decisions he's made.

We want to thank Daniel for documenting his study abroad and internship experience in Florence over the semester. We'll miss hearing about your time abroad! Cheers to your next step!

As I sit in the Rome airport, it is finally starting to sink in that my time abroad is over. The last few weeks have been a blur of finals followed by some last-minute travel.

MuseumThe sheer amount of art in Italy is incomprehensible.

I couldn’t have asked more from my time abroad. It gave me a chance to learn about a new culture, meet new people, and explore a foreign country. Most importantly, I learned to live in the moment and appreciate the little things. I wanted to see as much as I could and absorb as much of Italy as I could.

I wanted to sum up my experience as a whole in a list of 4 main insights, spanning from the personal impacts of studying abroad to ‘big picture’ ideas that I felt solidified during my time in Florence. So without further ado, here are 4 things I took away from my study abroad experience:

1. Knowing How to Ask for Help

While I studied in Florence I had the opportunity to intern at ShippyPro, a small eCommerce shipping company. I didn’t know anything about the shipping industry going in so needless to say, I was very intimidated. But I didn’t need to be. Everyone I worked with was immensely friendly and wanted to help make the transition into their business as smooth as possible. Their warmth gave me the chance to be curious and gave me confidence to ask lots of questions. I’ll take what I learned here with me in the future to get the most out of whatever endeavor I’m undertaking.

DavidA last minute ‘must-see’.

2. Cultural Competence

Living and working in Italy this semester gave me the opportunity to immerse myself in its incredibly rich culture. I experienced the nuances that make Italian culture so unique. In my internship I was able to pursue opportunities to challenge myself and dive even deeper. I’ll be able to call back on my experience in my future professional and personal life to better understand and adapt to other cultures.

Post Work in VeniceSome images from my walks in Florence and Venice.

3. Communication Skills

Leaving my girlfriend back at school was super difficult. Over time it got a little better but it was still very hard. Over the span of the semester we had our ups and downs due to the difficulties that come with long-distance relationships, however overall we learned a lot about both ourselves and our relationship. I feel that on a personal level this experience will strengthen our individual selves so even though it was difficult, it was definitely a positive in the long run. And even though I am sad to leave Florence, words cannot describe how excited I am to see her again.

Elsa And IFour months feel so much longer when you’re apart.

4. Friendships

Coming into my spring semester abroad, I didn’t know anyone. I am so grateful for the people in my program this year as for the most part everyone was extremely open and friendly. During my time in Florence I met some incredible people and formed friendships that will last a lifetime.

Friends and Roommates in FlorenceMy roommates and I on our last night together.

I will never forget this city and its people, and I am going to miss it so much. Because of this it’s extremely hard to really encapsulate my time in Florence with just a few words. As a final reflection, I can say that I learned so much, in and out of the classroom, about Italy, European history, and myself.

Blurry StatueI’ve never had more appreciation for ancient art and architecture.

This experience allowed me to look at the world from a new perspective and I am coming back to Pitt with new eyes. Taking advantage of the opportunity to study abroad was one of the best decisions I’ve made in college, and I would encourage anyone considering it to do so. I personally guarantee you won’t regret it.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Florence_Spring2019_Daniel Arnabar_meI’ll be back soon (hopefully).

Thanks, Daniel!

Daniel Arnabar


Daniel Arnabar is an official CAPA blogger for spring 2019, sharing his story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Marketing major at University of Pittsburgh, he is studying abroad in Florence this semester.

See more of Daniel's journey in Florence.

Learn More about the CAPA Florence Program

Topics: Florence, Italy, Why Study Abroad