Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
florence italy
florence italy
Original photo by Emmalyn Maher
Life > Experiences

A Synopsis of My Time Abroad

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Suffolk chapter.

For the past four months, I have been studying abroad in Florence Italy through Suffolk University’s study abroad program. Lorenzo de Medici Institute is a partner school with Marist University in Poughkeepsie, New York and it hosts about three-thousand students from all over the United States.

During my time here, I have met people from everywhere you can imagine, ranging from New Zealand to my very own hometown on the coast of Massachusetts. I have been places I never thought I would be and with the need to reflect myself, I will be sharing just where I’ve been and what that has been like for me.

My very first trip was through LdM to Pompeii, Sorrento and Capri. For those interested in studying in this program, I can not stress participating in this trip enough. As an old Latin student, seeing Pompeii was an experience in itself: relating the classroom to real life is something I am fortunate to be able to say I did and it was such an amazing sight to see. I thought of my high school latin teachers the entire time, knowing I learned nothing in their courses but happy to say I could do that.

image of pompeii
Original photo by Emmalyn Maher

Next I saw Sorrento, which topped Pompeii almost instantly. Since I am from a town on the water, being able to see the ocean and watch the sunset on the water was something I knew I needed at the time. It was a beautiful town full of seafood and limoncello and made for one of the most beautiful walks through a town I’ve ever seen.

sorrento italy
Original photo by Emmalyn Maher

The next day we headed to Capri, which topped Sorrento almost instantly. The ferry ride over is something I still think about, getting to witness the cliffs and coves of the Italian coastline. It was my first time dipping into Mediterranean waters, which were significantly warmer than the Atlantic. I decided very soon after that it will be my wedding destination, so it may be in my best interest to start saving.

capri italy
Original photo by Emmalyn Maher

A few weeks later I found myself in London, one of the largest cities I’ve seen before. It had New York’s size but Boston’s look, creating another place that I swear I had seen once before. I walked through the Abbey Road crosswalk, which is just a regular crosswalk and was actually really embarrassing to walk across, but just to see it made it worth it. I saw the London Bridge while I had my first American meal in over a month, Five Guys. London was by far the most expensive place I have been, which had me weary, but it was amazing to get to see firsthand.

london england
Original photo by Emmalyn Maher

About a month after that, my boyfriend came to visit me for our fall break, which, lucky for me, happened to be the week of my birthday. We went to Barcelona and Madrid, another two places I was happy to get to see. Barcelona is probably the best place I got to visit, with a huge contrast of both old and new architecture and things to see. I got to see the ocean once again and found myself exploring the Gothic district over and over again. I would do it again in a heartbeat.

barcelona spain
Original photo by Emmalyn Maher

Although there were fewer trips than what most might expect from a semester abroad, I found myself enjoying each for different reasons. My semester flew by, yet I am satisfied with how it manifested, and I am excited to be back in the Spring. Florence is a beautiful city worth visiting or even studying if you find yourself in a need to travel. I miss Boston in ways I never thought I would, but I know that this semester was worth it in a million ways.

Em Maher

Suffolk '26

Hi! My name is Em Maher and I am a sophomore at Suffolk University studying sociology and law. I'm originally from Salem, MA and am currently studying abroad in Florence, IT.