Remote Learning with CAPA & Some Takeaways From My Time in Florence

Apr 2, 2020 2:28:00 PM / by Sara Shriber

It can be difficult to stay positive during such uncertain times, but Sara is taking time to reflect on her experience in Florence and to focus on what she’s grateful for. Find out Sara’s takeaways from her time abroad and see what her remote learning experience is like.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Spring2020_Florence_Sara Shriber_Ponte VecchioThe Ponte Vecchio.

Ciao, I am writing this blog post from my home in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I have been home for almost a month now because of the coronavirus. My last week in Florence was a whirlwind having to quickly pack up my belongings, arrange a flight home during spring break, and say goodbye to my friends. I am extremely sad that my program was cut short, but I will cherish the time I spent in Italy forever. I am incredibly sad to see how different Italy is right now and the whole world in general. I would have never expected this to happen when I left for study abroad.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Spring2020_Florence_Sara Shriber_Picture with Friends on Last NightMy friends and I on our last night in Florence.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Spring2020_Florence_Sara Shriber_Last GelatoMy last gelato in Florence!

Currently, I am taking my classes online through Canvas and Zoom. Through Canvas, my professors post recorded lectures with assignments to complement the lecture. For my Italian class, my professor arranges live Zoom lectures, which allows us to continue to practice speaking Italian. The format of all my courses have changed since everything shifted to online because it is difficult to do group projects, present projects, take quizzes/exams, etc. However, the transition has not been too difficult because my professors and the CAPA staff continue to communicate with the students to make the process easier.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Spring2020_Florence_Sara Shriber_Zoom

During my time in quarantine, I have reflected a lot on my experience in Florence. I feel extremely grateful for the time I got to spend in Florence and the people that I met. I realized how much I learned in the total of seven weeks. I gained a new sense of independence, obtained problem-solving skills working through difficult situations, adapted to a completely new environment, learned and practiced speaking Italian, and I got to explore the world. I would not trade those experiences for anything. Even though times are hard right now and it is hard to stay positive, we must focus on the good things in life and what we are grateful for. Even though I am at home instead of in Italy, I am thankful that I get to spend time with my family during quarantine. I am thankful for the online resources we have to continue to take classes online. I think that it is definitely okay to be angry and stressed during this time, but we must remember the positive things in life and what we are thankful for. 

Furthermore, many businesses all over the world had to adapt to the changes the coronavirus has brought. As a business major, this situation has taught me the importance of having an adaptable and resilient business. It is important that businesses are able to change quickly based on the global economy. The coronavirus is an extreme condition that is hard to prepare for, but it is important to be able to adapt to the situation by for example, being able to conduct business online. Once things get back to normal, businesses must be resilient and be able to bounce back after facing adversity. The pandemic is an unpredictable extreme scenario that will ultimately shape how business is done in the future.

Thanks, Sara!

Sarah Graham


Sara Shriber is an official CAPA blogger for spring 2020, sharing her story in frequent posts on CAPA World. A Marketing major with an International Business certificate at the University of Pittsburgh, she is studying abroad in Florence this semester.

Sarah's journey continues all semester so stay tuned.

Learn More about the CAPA Florence Program

Topics: International Education, Florence, Italy