UA Study Abroad Student Spotlight


UA Study Abroad is excited to announce Anna Petronella as our latest Student Spotlight. Read on to learn about her experience in Italy at the Santa Reparata International School of Art.

Why did you decide to study abroad in Florence?

As an art student, I wanted to be in a city that was surrounded by art and there is no better place for this then Florence, the birth place of the Renaissance. I had the opportunity to take classes inside the Uffizi Gallery eight different times, I learned traditional artistic practices such as serigraphy and book making, and I met so many amazing artists along the way. Also, coming from an Italian family, I wanted to immerse myself in this culture by practicing the language and meeting the locals.

What is your best memory of the program?

My greatest memories from Florence are the day-to-day things I had the opportunity to experience. I never had to set an alarm because every morning I woke up to the sound of church bells ringing. As I walked to class, I would walk alongside the famous Duomo and stop in my favorite café to have a cappuccino. Early Friday mornings I would get my fruits and vegetables for the week at the Sant'Ambrogio market and watch the families, friends, and neighbors of the community go on with their errands. When I wanted to get some exercise, I would cross the river to the Oltrarno and climb up to Piazza Michelangelo to have the most beautiful view of my new home. Italian life is about relishing in the little things, and it was my goal to achieve that as much as possible.

How did the program prepare you for future professional goals?

Being in a new place and practicing art is an incredible experience because you find new inspiration everywhere you look. The things you surround yourself with are what influence your work as an artist, and to have the opportunity to be in Florence allowed me to create work I never imagined I could. I now carry Florence in all my memories. It still teaches me and inspires me to grow as an artist and as a person.

Where would you like to travel next?

Take me back to Florence, because I left my heart there.

Interested in studying in Florence? Learn more here.