Madelyn Schadle

Major: Apparel, Merchandising, and Design
Class: Junior
Timeframe: Spring 2022
Program: Lorenzo de’ Medici Institute
Destination: Italy

Overall Experience

Studying abroad has always been a goal of mine and choosing to study abroad through Iowa State at Lorenzo de' Medici was one of the best decisions I made. I was able to take classes from the Palaces of Florence to Fashion Styling with amazing professors in the industry. Aside from school, I had the chance to travel with my friends to various places around Europe on our free days and gain amazing experiences in new cultures. Overall, I learned so much from my time abroad, and I can't wait to go back to visit Florence in the future!

Learning experience

One of my most valuable learning experiences was that things might not always go as planned, but you shouldn't let that stop you from gaining new experiences. There were many times when our flights or transportation didn't go as smoothly as we hoped, but afterward, I realized that those were all learning experiences. Making those mistakes has ultimately given me more confidence in trying new things because it's going to be ok even if things do go wrong, you just have to embrace it.

Memorable experience

I have many memorable experiences from my time abroad and traveling, but some of my favorite memories were right in Florence. My friends and I would take time to get food at different places in the city and sit by the river talking and watching the sunset. We also enjoyed relaxing in the gardens on the edge of the city and visiting local museums or palaces. Just taking the time to enjoy and embrace the local lifestyle is what helped to make my experience so amazing.

What did you not expect?

Something that surprised me abroad was how much more relaxed the pace of everyday life was compared to the United States. In Italy, people take their time to do things like eating or enjoying each other's company. After living there, I've learned that it's important to take a step back and enjoy the present because life is going a lot faster than you realize.

What advice would you give?

Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and immerse yourself in an unfamiliar culture. You will open yourself up to so many amazing opportunities!

How has this experience impacted your life?

Studying in Florence gave me experiences in my education and personal life that were beyond my expectations. I took many classes with very passionate professors that helped me to realize my own capabilities and gain amazing connections. I will definitely be taking what I learned from them into my future career. After coming home, I also realized just how much I grew personally from the experience. It broadened my point of view and gave me a greater appreciation for different cultures.

How did you learn about this experience?

I first learned of this opportunity during my freshman year of college through classmates. I also did a lot of research through Iowa State because I knew this was something I wanted to do.

International Connections