By Jessica Pitocco, JMC '18
The ‘study’ in study abroad for many students is not a focus during their fall semester. College students come to Italy not for academics, but mostly for the fun, beautiful atmosphere and easy travel across Europe. However, to me, the academics were just as important as the cultural immersion. I interviewed and enrolled in an internship at Florence University of the Arts (FUA), and was amazed when I arrived just how much work experience I would be able to accomplish in my short time here.
My first week I began writing, creating content for, and editing every publication at FUA: Blending Magazine, Blending Newsletter, Finding Florence Blog, Ingorda Books, and various social media pages. My internship is also an experiential learning class for credit, with a total of 150 hours worked by the end of the semester. It is probably the most challenging work I will do here, but also the most rewarding, because I am published internationally every week. Working for Blending will give me so much intercultural experience in the communications field, and even more experience with journalism, writing, publishing and editing that I could not get from a strictly domestic publication.
As a Journalism and Mass Communications major in SMPA, as well as a seasoned intern, I came into the internship extremely prepared for the work I would be doing. However, I wasn’t prepared for how much creative freedom I would be given week-to-week. Most of the writing I am doing is about subjects I have never covered before: travel, fashion, and culinary arts to name a few. As a foreigner coming into Florence, Italy, I have learned so much more about the history and culture of the city than I could have ever hoped just from writing a weekly blog. I have also explored photojournalism in one of the mist gorgeous and picturesque cities in Italy. My photos will even be published internationally!
Though I have much to learn about my industry at GW, I am so thankful and excited for this study abroad internship. I feel I will grow as not only a writer, but also as a person through this experience. I’ve even started my own personal blog to keep track of my travels and share everything I’m doing with Blending at FUA. I can’t wait to keep writing, keep traveling, and keep discovering everything I can about international journalism.