This is an essay summing up one of the most wonderful experiences of my life. It all started during the 7th semester in college when one of my closest friends suggested to go abroad and do a short course in Interior and Furniture together. Hence my friend, Sohana, started looking for short courses on the internet in Italy, because what other place could be better than the place where design was born. We started looking for courses in Florence and came across a few that suited us. We finally settled upon Studium Architecturae- Florence Design School, as the curriculum was really intriguing as it was combined with real working experience. We approached the studio and received all the information quite promptly. We finally applied and received a positive response from the Studio, and hence all the big plans began. As soon as the course was finalised, we thought of combining a trip along with the course and asked our other friends to join us in Italy. Hence all the plans began and after millions of bookings and documents, things finally started to fall in place. We had been waiting and anticipating the whole experience since March as it was the first time that we were going to travel abroad without our families!
The great experience in Florence
So, we finally flew from Mumbai to Florence on the 1st of June. I was spellbound from we landed in Florence. It was the prettiest place I had ever been to. I kept looking out the window the entire time and it was like a dream come true. We reached the AirBnb, settled down, unpacked and got out on the streets the very same day. We were way too excited to stay in and rest. I started taking pictures from the minute I landed. Every street had it’s own charm and the people were so friendly and helpful.
Studium Architecturae- Florence Design School : incredible reality
And then, on the 4th of June, we had a small orientation meeting where we met our professors Mr. Giovanni Voto and Ms. Milena. We were explained in brief about the course and answered all our doubts ever so sweetly. We were also given a short tour of the beautiful and cosy studio. We were really excited for the course as we were going to have a completely new experience combined with working. The next day our classes began and it was a completely different approach to design and life. We met our course mates Zheng Zheng and Julia who are extremely smart and independent young ladies. The classes have always been a lot of fun and informative thanks to the professors and the other students.
We also got a wonderful opportunity to work on a co-working space which was completely a new experience as I have never worked on a live project like this one before. The site was really interesting with the vaulted ceiling and courtyards. It has been a lot of fun to work with Prof. Giovanni on this project. He has been very supportive of our ideas and given us a lot of insight and guidance in every step. Our learning was not only limited to the classroom, as the studio had a lot of fun workshops arranged for us. We also had a lot of meals together and enjoyed long discussions on varied topics. It was a completely different experience for me because I have never learned in such an open minded environment and have never been so comfortable around my professors. Apart from the lectures, we also met for dinner and drinks one day which was a lot fun. We met people from different backgrounds and had an amazing evening with them.
Places we visited
Besides Florence, we also visited Pisa and Milan over the weekends. The train journey to Pisa was absolutely beautiful and the people that we met on the way were extremely helpful. The way finding system was excellent, and even though we were traveling alone for the first time, we figured everything out quite conveniently. Pisa was a beautiful little place and we of course visited the Leaning Tower and spent the entire day on the lawn admiring the beautiful architecture. It was an amazing experience.
The trip to Milan was also quite interesting as it was quite a different city and much bigger than Florence and Pisa, but it was amusing nonetheless. We got lost in al kinds of transport but we finally figured our way out. We didn’t end up doing all the things we had planned but it was a different experience in terms of getting to places, communicating with the people and figuring plans out. We also met a German guy on the train and spoke to him for almost two hours and it was one of the most interesting conversations I’ve ever had with a stranger.
A breathtaking trip
All in all, it has been an overwhelming experience. It has taught me so much about Design and Life and has broadened my perspective in so many different ways. I am so eager to learn more about design and I am so keen on doing my Masters abroad after this wonderful experience. It has given me a different kind of exposure and a small glimpse on the Italian approach to architecture and design. The entire experience has helped me build confidence and faith in myself and my work. It has helped me realise that there are endless things to see and learn and there are so many people in this world to be inspired from.