3 Week Study Abroad in Italy

My name is Kristin Poehls and I am attending Mount Mary University in pursuit of a degree in Fashion Design. Luckily enough, I am very near graduation! After this semester, I only need about 3 credits which I hope to obtain through the Study Abroad Italy program in Florence, Italy. The class I am looking to take is Footwear Design and Construction during their Summer Session II which runs from June 8th~June 28th, 2014. The $6,500 goal is to cover program cost and tentative airfare. Thank you for taking the time to look at my gofundme! This is my first time doing one, so I apologize in advanced if something looks odd.

There are several reasons why I would love to take part in the study abroad experience. One of the more important reasons why I want to study in Italy is because I have ancestral roots, specifically in the town of Costacciaro - a 3 hour drive East of Florence. My grandfather's father had many brothers and sisters who came to America from Italy but one family stayed and continues to reside in Costacciaro. My grandparents, along with an aunt and uncle, had a chance to visit them two years ago and are planning on visiting during the time of Florence University of the Art's Summer Session II (they will be there June 13th to the 25th), so I would like this opportunity to visit my roots one of the weekends I am there.

Secondly, as a designer, I feel a travel abroad experience would enhance my creativity, foster inspiration, and give me a fresher perspective that I can bring to the table. Studying our entire life in one school system, in one country, tends to dull our perspectives, and I feel this abroad experience would give me new eyes to look through and make me a better person to give back to the world.

Lastly, through my History of Costume class and a few art classes I've taken, I've come to admire pictures from the artwork and architecture of Florence and I think seeing these works in person would be a fantastic experience.

What I hope to accomplish during my time in Florence is creating a more global network through classmates and other students I meet, along with professors in order to share ideas and grow as an individual. I feel that these connections would allow me to gain friendships I wouldn't have had the chance to otherwise. Other things I hope to accomplish are getting to know a different culture in a more personal way than just learning from a textbook, be able to apply what I learn in the Footwear Design and Construction course to future endeavors once I return to the states, learn some Italian through cultural immersion, and return to the United States as a woman who has seen the world through a different lens and encourages others to study abroad if the chance arises to enrich their own experiences.

Even if you can only make a small contribution, I always say "a little goes a long way." Thank you very much!

"Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving."
"• Terry Pratchett
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Alizarin Crimson 
Green Bay, WI

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