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Flourishing in Florence

Discovery program students discuss the impact of a semester in Italy on their academic experiences.
Student on walking tour in Florence, Italy.

While studying in Florence, students have the opportunity to explore the city, Italy and beyond through site visits and field trips that are integral to their academic programs.

The Discovery program in Florence welcomes students to explore Italy during their first semester. This immersive educational opportunity allows students to learn about culture, community and the college experience while abroad. We caught up with Discovery program students Nathan Bobeck ’26 a policy studies major and Sarah Schreiber ’26 an international relations major to learn about their experiences while studying abroad in Florence, Italy.

Nathan Bobeck ’26

Nathan Bobeck ’26 with other friends in Syracuse Florence program standing in front of the Eiffel Tower while visiting Paris.

Nathan Bobeck ’26 (second from left) and other Syracuse Florence program students stand in front of the Eiffel Tower while visiting Paris.

What did you appreciate most about your Discovery experience?

The freedom to explore a new culture and express my individuality was undoubtedly the most rewarding aspect of my study abroad experience. Additionally, the safe atmosphere fostered by the school and staff provided a sense of security that allowed me to fully immerse myself in the local environment.

What aspects of the cultural immersion did you most enjoy or appreciate?

Living with a host family was an excellent way to experience complete cultural immersion and truly embrace the local way of life. Furthermore, attending social events around the city facilitated meaningful connections with others and enriched my overall experience.

Were there any challenges you faced or overcame during your semester abroad?

Initially, adjusting to independence abroad presented some challenges. However, with the invaluable support of the staff at the Florence center, I overcame these obstacles and continued improving throughout the semester.

Sarah Schreiber ’26

Sarah Schreiber ’26 in Monterosso al Mare while on a trip to Cinque-Terre, Italy.

Sarah Schreiber ’26 in Monterosso al Mare while on a trip to Cinque-Terre, Italy. Behind her is the Ligurian Sea, which feeds into the Mediterranean Sea.

What aspects of the cultural immersion did you most enjoy or appreciate?

I loved the trips organized by Syracuse—like the overnight trip to Naples and the walking tour around Oltrarno. And the cultural excursions, such as chocolate tasting. I also enjoyed the conversation hours with Italian high school students.

How would you describe your adjustment to campus after your Discovery program? How do you feel studying abroad during your first semester affected your integration into campus life?

Studying abroad my first semester definitely helped me find my way when I first came to campus, and the Discovery program connected me with students I may not have otherwise met. The program gave me exciting stories to talk about and a small community in a big school.

Also of Interest

Waterway in Strasbourg, France.

Discovery Programs

Begin your college career abroad at a Syracuse Center in Florence, Italy; Madrid, Spain; or Strasbourg, France.

Explore our Discovery programs
Student exploring Florence, Italy looking at architecture.

First-Semester Study Abroad in Florence

For centuries, Florence has remained a fountain of inspiration and intellectual thought. Not only is Florence bursting with countless architectural and artistic achievements, but you’ll also find a bustling hub for European politics, business and international education.

Experience Florence