Q&A with CAPA Florence alum CeDrice Howard

Dec 17, 2018 9:30:00 AM / by CAPA Study Abroad Ambassadors

In this post, CAPA Alumna CeDrice answers 10 questions about her experience studying abroad in Florence and her time so far as a CAPA Ambassador!

CAPA World: Tell us a bit about yourself. Where did you study abroad and from which home institution? What is your major?
CeDrice Howard: I’m a third year Physician Assistant student at D’Youville College in Buffalo, NY. This past summer, I studied abroad in Florence, Italy for about three weeks. I enjoy working out, being with my friends, and watching TV.

CW: What made you decide to apply to CAPA's Ambassador Program?
CH: I had such an amazing time in Florence and CAPA made my trip easier and more enjoyable. When I got the email about CAPA accepting applications for the program, I thought it would be a great opportunity to share my experience and explain to other D’Youville students that study abroad can be an integral part of your college experience.
CAPAStudyAbroad_Florence_Summer2018_From CeDrice Howard - CeDrice in Florence.jpg
CW: What has been your favorite part of the Ambassador Program and what has been the biggest challenge?
CH:  My favorite part about the program has been talking to the students about study abroad and the way traveling can shape not only your college experience but your future. I loved working with the other D’Youville ambassador and the study abroad staff here at my school. I was able to learn more information about CAPA and the amazing opportunities they have for students. The biggest challenge for me with the ambassador position was trying to reach as many students as possible. At D’Youville, a huge percentage of our population is graduate students, commuters, and transfer students. These populations were harder to contact and get to come to events.
CW: Why did you choose CAPA for your study abroad program? 
CHWhen I decided that I wanted to study abroad, I immediately researched good programs to travel through. CAPA was consistently one of the names that I read about. All the comments were positive. Everyone seemed really impressed with the staff at the abroad locations. That made my decision to go with CAPA so much easier.
CAPAStudyAbroad_Florence_Summer2018_From CeDrice Howard - view of Florence
CW: What were your first impressions of your host city? How did these change over the course of the semester?

CHMy first impression of Florence was that it was a busy city with a lot of tourist all over the place. However, as the days started going by I was able to experience the more authentic history of Florence. I did this through CAPA setting up different trips to local hospitals, walks away from the touristy areas, and the desire to try different cuisine.

CW: What was your favorite class you took while abroad and why? How did it compare to the academics at your home university? 

CHWhen I went abroad, I went with a class that I took in the Spring. My favorite session was when we visited Fili de Colori which is a mental health facility in the outskirts of Florence. I loved learning about the different programs offered at the facility. I was able to compare and contrast the difference between the mental health systems in Florence versus the ones in the US. This opportunity allowed me to experience the culture first hand rather than sitting in a class room being told the differences.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Florence_Summer2018_From CeDrice Howard - CeDrice in front of Duomo

CW: What is one of your favorite memories of your time abroad? We know there are probably a ton to choose from!
CH:  One of my favorite memories is waking up at 6:00 am so that we could get in line for the Duomo because the lines got so long throughout the day. Then at 8:00 am we had to walk up what felt like 10,000 stairs to get to the top of the Duomo. The entire time I was questioning why we thought this was a good idea. Then we got to the top and saw the most amazing view of Florence. It was the best view I saw throughout the trip. And I will always remember feeling the gusts of wind on my face while looking out and feeling blessed for the opportunity to be in Florence.
CAPAStudyAbroad_Florence_Summer2018_From CeDrice Howard - top of Duomo
CW: Beyond the wanderlust, what transferrable skills did you take away from your time abroad that will help you in your future career?
CHTraveling without your parents is a challenge in itself, especially abroad. I learned so much about how to ration my money for the three weeks, how to wash clothes in a foreign country, how to not always rely on technology to get you place to place, and how to go with the flow. The most important thing I learned was to enjoy life as it’s given to you. I’m a fairly type A person and study abroad has definitely softened my edges. Throughout the trip, I relied on trains to get everywhere and sometimes trains don’t come at the time they are supposed to, so the rest of your plan for the day may have to change. However, through this experience, I was able to learn how to accommodate plans according to the situation. This will definitely help me in the medical field where something can change in the matter of seconds.
CW: What do you see yourself doing when you graduate? Did your experience abroad in any way shape your career goals and aspirations? If so, how?

CHI see myself working as a Physician Assistant in either mental health setting or geriatrics setting. The trip helped me better understand what I wanted to by giving me a different perspective about medicine in a foreign country.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Florence_Summer2018_From CeDrice Howard - view of Florence

CW: What is the greatest piece of advice you have for future study abroad students? 
CHMy piece of advice is to be ready for any and everything when you go abroad. You are going to meet some amazing, eccentric people that could possibly change your life. Planning that you have done for months in preparation for the trip may fall apart two days before they are supposed to happen. But this is an amazing opportunity to learn new skills, learn more about yourself, and learn to appreciate the world around you.

Thanks, CeDrice!

Lindsey Feamster


Meet CeDrice Howard, a D'Youville College student studying Physician Assistance. She studied abroad in Florence during Summer 2018 and is a CAPA Ambassador this fall.


Learn more about the CAPA Ambassador Program

Topics: CAPA Alumni, Interviews, Florence, Italy, CAPA Ambassadors, Florence Interviews