Emily S, a graduate of London South Bank University, combined her passion for wedding planning and love for Italy into a life-changing experience by interning abroad. Emily always dreamed of living in Italy and working as a wedding planner, and we are thrilled to have helped Emily make both of these dreams come true.
Why I Decided
Emily has been in love with Italy since she was young. In her words, she was “overly excited” to find out she could intern in her favorite country. Originally, Emily wanted to intern in Milan, but ended up going to Florence and loved every minute of it! Emily said that the relatively small size of Florence made it feel just like home.
“I originally wanted to intern in Milan, but I am so happy I ended up interning in Florence. The city is a lot smaller, but it felt like home. It’s very friendly and so so beautiful. I love the fact I can walk all around it, and you constantly find new beautiful things!”
It was important to Emily that she could be somewhere to not only learn job skills but also gain life experience. “In the last few months of university, I decided that to gain the experience I wanted, I needed to break out of the comforts of England and venture somewhere new,”
Friends and Family
Going abroad can seem like an intimidating thing, and usually an intern’s family has a lot of questions. Lucky for Emily, her friends and family were “totally supportive.” Emily’s friends and family realized how great of an opportunity Florence would be and “they were right of course.”
Wedding Planning Internship
Like many of our interns, Emily had already graduated when she decided to do our program. Emily’s degree focused on tourism, leisure, and hospitality. After graduating, she decided she wanted to focus on events and specifically weddings. Global Experiences placed Emily in a wonderful internship at a company called The Tuscan Wedding.
“This experience has been a whirlwind since I arrived and I honestly couldn't have wished for a better time here.”
The Tuscan Wedding, a unique wedding planning company, focuses on providing couples from around the world a perfect Italian wedding. At the time of Emily’s internship, the company was trying to bring in new clients and grow its base. Emily became an integral part of the Tuscan Wedding team to assist with its growth by providing couples with traditional Italian weddings.
As her internship progressed, Emily became even more involved with the company and became an important part of the day to day operations including putting together spreadsheets about wedding locations. Emily’s favorite projects to work on were anything to do with social media and marketing.
“My boss threw me in at the deep end because she knew that’s what I wanted. I learned a lot of new skills and had many responsibilities over the time I have been there,” Emily said about her internship.
Choosing to intern in the fall meant that Emily got to see a lot more of the back-office work which is precisely what she was looking for in an internship. Some of Emily’s other daily tasks included responding to wedding requests, managing social sites, and helping the company gain a wider following.
Looking out over the rolling hills of Tuscany, Emily’s office was located on a quaint street. For an afternoon pick-me-up, Emily’s boss would make her and her coworkers cups of tea and biscuits.
“This program may benefit you or how this trip will help you in the future, I can honestly say it will benefit you in ways you couldn't imagine. Even if, like me, you come here thinking that this will just benefit your CV for when you get home, you honestly do not know the doors that this program can open,” Emily said about the benefits of interning abroad.
Professional Skills Learned
Internships give you your best chance to try out a career field and develop important professional skills. Emily said that she learned “organizational and precession skills.” Both of which are fundamental skills for a future event planner.
“I think experiences like this are important for young people to take. They help you to grow and adapt and potentially find yourself on a completely different path. It's not only exciting but extremely grounding,” Emily said about everything she learned during her internship.
A lot of employers feel that recent grads don’t have some of the basic skills that they need to function in a workplace, but with an internship, you can learn all those skills.
We asked Emily to take over our Snapchat to give you the chance to see the day in the life of a Florence intern!
“Snapchat takeover is just another way of gaining more experience within social media, and to me, I want to be able to show people that it isn't that scary being away for 3 months. Time literally does fly by, and you will have the best time,” Emily said about her decision to give you a glimpse into her life as an international intern.
Vibrant Florentine Culture
To say Florence is a city full of culture would be an understatement. The city has a long history stretching back hundreds of years and was one of the centers of the Renaissance. Incredible art and breathtaking architecture can be found in nearly every corner of the city.
“This city is beyond beautiful and exceeding any expectations I had. From the buildings to the people, every quirky little corner is special in its own way. Plus, the great food and delicious wine definitely do help!” Emily said about the sites and experiences of her host city.
Everything is a bit slower paced and relaxed in Florence including the work environment. Italians tend not to worry about showing up on time and events tend to start a bit later. The laid-back and stress-free environment make it the perfect location for nearly every type of internship.
Many interns come to Italy without any knowledge of Italian. Before her internship, Emily didn’t know much Italian and was slightly nervous about it. “Language, obviously, was a worry.”
As part of our Florence program, the interns get put through a language school a week before her internship began. Emily and the other interns found that the language school extremely useful and made it easier to live in Italy.
“The language school really helped build a foundation, and everyone speaks English, and they are very kind, so it ended up not being as bad as I thought!”
As you totally immerse yourself in a new culture, you realize that there’s no better way to experience a new culture.
Clarifying a Career Path
Internships teach you a lot about yourself and what you want out of life. Emily went into her internship thinking wedding planning was her calling but realized that her true strengths lied in social media and marketing.
“When I asked myself what I enjoyed doing the answer wasn't wedding planning. It was the control I had over social and marketing that really made me happy. This experience also told me that it's okay to not know, sometimes, what you want to do and who you want to be.”
Lessons Learned from Interning Abroad
Going abroad will teach you lessons you never thought you’d learn. You’ll experience an entirely new culture and learn a lot about yourself. Emily said, “This experience has taught me a lot about my characteristics, my strengths, and my weaknesses. I can only speak from my experience, but, my internship threw me into the deep end and challenged me (in a good way) to look further into what I enjoyed doing.”
Advice to Future Interns
If you’re thinking about interning abroad, Emily has some advice for you:
“DO IT! Although the idea is petrifying, you will be amazed at what you can achieve. You’ll 100% surprise yourself. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every aspect, and it’s exceeded all expectations,” Emily said
The streets of Florence are calling your name! If there’s a career field you want to break into, then apply today, and one of our Admissions Counselors will get in touch. We’re here to make your dreams become a reality!