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A person standing in front of a cathedral

University of Texas at San Antoino

Florence, Italy

Summer 2023

Melissa Pena, Alumni Ambassador

Alumni Ambassadors

what's one story or important aspect you always share about your time abroad?
It's not a journey suitable for everyone. Studying abroad demands courage, effort, and determination. Yet, once you've arrived to your destination, the sense of achievement is beyond words. Achieving this goal is truly remarkable. Looking back, I take immense pride in my decision to go abroad and place myself in challenging situations because I experienced tremendous personal growth.

how did you engage with the local community while abroad?
I actively connected with the local community in Florence by choosing to walk everywhere, making my presence felt wherever I went. I have a deep appreciation for observing my surroundings. I frequented parks, museums, and shops, where I sat and closely watched people's actions, finding it both captivating and entertaining. I often initiated conversations, seeking to forge connections and learn more about the people I met.


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