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Au Revoir to My Time Abroad

by Sophia Triche
AIFS Study Abroad Student, Sophie, in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France

Returning to the United States after a fun-filled, adventurous, and exhausting three weeks abroad has given me time to reflect upon my time across the globe. The past twenty one days have left me feeling inspired, more connected to the world, and eager to take off on another trip, and lots of that is thanks to the incredible Fashion Marketing and Merchandising study abroad program that I was part of.

Touching down in London, I was eager to meet the thirty-four other people that I would be sharing this life-changing experience with. I was both nervous and excited beyond belief. Coming into this experience, I was anxious to see what the class activities would hold. I have never been one for museums or guided tours — I get antsy and bored pretty easily — but I am so happy to say that my opinion changed after experiencing the amazing exhibits that England, France, and Italy had to offer. One of my favorite activities was the Mary Quant exhibit at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. Not only were the clothing pieces to die for, but the actual display was interactive and unique to others I had seen before.

Fashion exhibit in London, England | AIFS Study Abroad

I greatly enjoyed the fact that some of the activities on my study abroad program were not ones that I would have chosen for myself otherwise. When we were in Lake Como, we visited a silk production facility and museum. Going into the day, I thought it would be super boring and something that I wished was over before it even started. I was pleasantly surprised to find myself interested in the graphics and seeing something that I had learned in school come to life before my eyes.

Going on this Fashion Marketing and Merchandising study abroad program definitely forced me out of my comfort zone and pushed me to look at things in a new and unique way.

Group of AIFS Study Abroad students in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France

Ultimately, this experience is something I will cherish forever. I met people in my program who come from across the United States that I now consider to be close friends. We even all got friendship bracelets in Florence to commemorate the three weeks spent together. I learned so much about myself, the fashion industry, and the cultures of the three countries and four cities we visited that will change my perspective on life forever. If I could do it again, I would, and I encourage anyone who has any sort of interest in the fashion world to go with the AIFS Fashion Marketing and Merchandising study abroad program and learn.

AIFS Study Abroad Student, Sophia, in front of the Ponte Vecchio in Florence, Italy
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