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Study Abroad Blog

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Welcome Lecture Inspires Florence Student

This September, the CEA Global Campus in Florence, Italy hosted its first Welcome Lecture, open to the public. Professor of Humanities Sirpa Salenius addressed her audience with a lecture entitled “The Grand Tour: Past and Present.” While the lecture was based on Professor Salenius’s research on the topic and era of the Grand Tour and its main and forgotten protagonists, her comments circled back to the experience that current students at the Global Campus in Florence are experiencing. CEA students, in some ways, follow in the footsteps of their 18th- and 19th-century predecessors.
Florence student Rick J. Widden was inspired by Dr. Salenius’s talk enough to write an essay about the importance of experience abroad. His full essay was published by a local English-language newspaper. We wanted to share with you two passages:

  “For centuries, youth have ventured out of their native countries to experience a foreign land with a variety of motives. No matter the individual reasons, this new “home” provides a picturesque backdrop for an explorer to morph into the cultured, experienced, travelled, and well-rounded individual that is necessary for a successful life as an adult. Florence is often the ideal destination for this life changing experience, considering its rich culture, diverse population and central location. Though the adjustment phase for some may prove to be challenging, the positive effects and growth an individual returns home with far outweighs any difficulties. Living abroad is truly an indescribable and immeasurable episode in one’s life.

“Though time and effort are required to make living abroad possible, the few experiences listed above in addition to those that go unnamed far overshadow any grief experienced prior or during this unique opportunity. To anyone in the midst of this process, enjoy what is at your fingertips and treasure it for a lifetime. These are your defining days.”
Professor Sirpa Salenius is a native of Helsinki, Finland. She received her PhD in English Studies from the University of Joensuu in Finland and her MA in the same, focusing on American Literature, from the University of Florence in Italy. You can read more about Professor Salenius online under Florence Faculty.
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