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A Summer of Endless Artistic and Architectural Experiences

It has been a long time coming, but it seems my trip to Florence, Italy is just beyond the horizon… My name is Ethan, I am sixteen-years-old, and I am delighted to have the opportunity to study abroad this summer on Abbey Road’s Florence-Rome program.

In December when I was thinking about my plans for the upcoming summer, the very concept of travelling roughly 4,000 miles away from the comfort of my twin-size mattress wasn’t even in the back of my mind.  What was clear to me at the time, however, was that I desired to dedicate my vacation developing my artistic skills and deepening my understanding and appreciation for architecture.

Confident I wanted to broaden my knowledge on architecture during my summer vacations, over the last two years I have enrolled in local architecture programs and browsed my libraries for books about anything and everything relating to European architectural history. Both opportunities encouraged my passion to study and experience architecture and art history, so without a doubt, I was keen on seeking pre-collegiate programs with an emphasis on those subjects this year. After weeks of research, I came across the Abbey Road Programs website, and to my delight, it offered students the chance to study visual art and art history in Florence, one of the most beautiful and historic cities in the world, revered for its overwhelming art and aesthetic wonder. Coincidentally, my earliest comprehension and appreciation for architecture as an art medium came from my personal research into the Italian Renaissance and the works of master builders such as Brunelleschi, Alberti, and Michelangelo, so I view it as a disservice not to set Florence and Rome as the first destinations in my aspiration to experience all of the world’s greatest architectural capitals and learn of their historical and social importance.

I am very excited to participate in an art-centric study abroad program like Abbey Road! Not only am I eager to develop my artistic skills and study European art history in a European setting, but I am hopeful for the potential to look, listen, taste, smell, and embrace Italian culture and all of its local marvels, as well as develop a strong network of friends and a collection of memorable experiences to carry with me in the future.