Experiential Global Learning Student Spotlight: Shayna Martin

Majoring in Communication, fourth-year student Shayna Martin had an unforgettable Spring 2022 semester studying abroad. Her program of choice: ISI Florence in Florence, Italy!

Shayna Martin, fourth-year Communication student

Tell us a little bit about your experience in Italy. For starters, why did you choose ISI Florence? 

I ended up in Florence because of my interest in the culture and all the delicious food. I was nervous about not knowing the language, but slowly and steadily learning the language from class and locals alike, Italian is becoming more second nature than I’d have imagined.

What challenges were you able to overcome while studying in Italy?

Jumping into a foreign country knowing no one in the program was a bit scary, but so many people come here in the same position and I’ve made so many friends from UConn and all across the US!

What did you gain from the experience?

Italy is amazing to get to experience as a local and Florence is an entirely walkable city with so much to offer; everything from picnics with a view of the city to a stroll through the famous Uffizi Museum or a trip to see Michelangelo’s David. There is history and modernity blended seamlessly through the streets.

Are there any tips you'd give for future students participating in an Experiential Global Learning program or those who are just starting to think about joining one?

Don't be afraid of the unknown, embrace it! Experience as much as possible. I wouldn't trade this time for anything in the world and everyone else here says the same. You're only going to be this age in the world this once so don't let anything stop you from living your life to the fullest right now. If that means traveling all across Italy and Europe on your weekends, this is the place for you!

"ISI Florence trip to Pisa" by Shayna Martin
"Sunset over the Arno in Florence" by Shayna Martin
"View from Piazza Michelangelo over all of Florence" by Shayna Martin
"ISI Florence trip to Chianti for wine tasting" by Shayna Martin