This experience has been such a roller coaster so far. It has taught me so many lessons about life, school but mostly; myself. I've learnt that I am more capable than I believe and that hard work really does pay off. 

Choosing to have housemates was possibly the best decision I've made for this trip- they were there to comfort me when the stress hit and to share foodie moments with me, and were there for me to talk to when I felt homesick. 

The best people to spend a month in Europe with

Starting school was daunting as you never know what to expect, especially in a different country. The staff at Instituto Europeo Di Design were incredibly welcoming from day one and they created a safe space for us to learn and express our ideas. Most of us have had classes five days a week, jam-packed with lessons from the most experienced in the field as well as museum visits to the most monumental sites. 

We've begun work on our final project where we are rebranding the Museo di Anthropology and Ethnology right here in Florence. What I've taken away from the course so far is that graphic design is everywhere - everyone always talks about how common and important other professions are, but not everyone realises that graphic design is everywhere, from a stop sign on the road, to a toilet sign on a door. It is incredible to analyse your day and realise the importance of graphic design.

I have learnt tips and tricks from professionals here that I would not have had access to back home, I've learnt that there is more to graphic design than just the Adobe suite. I've grown a lot as a designer in the past two weeks. It's refreshing to go into new situations with an open mind and forget things you thought you already knew, and just take information as they come. Design is so subjective and everyone has their own story in which they have lessons and tips from, and I am so grateful to be able to learn these tips from such experienced professionals.

I still have 'pinch me' moments daily, where I can't believe I'm actually on the other side of the world learning from some of the best - steps away from the Duomo. It's still hard to grasp the concept that this place will be my home for a month! It definitely is a unique once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! 

The people here are super friendly and will make you feel welcomed wherever you are. The school is in the perfect location (close to lots of places to eat - the most important aspect, obviously.) Although we are busy with school work, we are still finding time to squeeze in beach days (a must in the European heat wave) and gelato breaks every minute possible. Ponte Vecchio is beautifully accessible from the apartment we're in and is one of the most amazing views to take in, while the sun is setting, with a gelato in hand. 

Ponte Vecchio at sunset

It's easy to have such a good time when your housemates become your second family the moment you set foot in the apartment door. Keen to see what the next week holds.


Hi, I'm Alice Tran! I’m in my second year studying Graphic Design/Communications at the University of Canberra. In my spare time I love to cook and write poetry. I can’t wait to explore Italy especially for the food but of course the program that I’m lucky enough to be part of!