My name is Lucy Biggs. I’m an adventurous (motivated), vibrant and happy girl from Adelaide, South Australia. I’m on the 2nd year of my double degree: commerce and media, majoring in Management and Marketing at the University of Adelaide. This past July 2013, I had an amazing opportunity to take part in the Fashion Events and Public Relations program at the Institutio Di Europeo Design (IED) and I received 3 units of credit towards the summer course!
Ahh where do I begin?! My summer as a Florentine in July 2013 was the most memorable, exciting and fulfilling thing I have ever accomplished. Having the opportunity to study and live in Florence, Italy as a 19 year old student for a month was just indescribable I have met the most amazing life long friends (from all over the world!!!) and truly lived and studied like a local.
So … I guess my highlight would be living in Florence!
The AIM Overseas Fashion Events and Public Relations course helped me broadened my outlook in wanting to achieve more. Studying in Florence has fuelled my appetite to experience more and make the most out of life!
Last lesson with Alberto in our Fashion Branding lesson!
I am a very social person who has always enjoyed fashion, so when I heard about the course I couldn’t believe my eyes … it was perfect! I had no doubt about it that the course would appeal greatly to my personality, learning preferences (practical) and career possibility so by the end of week 1 I knew that I WANTED to peruse a career in Marketing and Public Relations! I found the course exciting and interesting and would love to work in a job that can offer opportunity to grow and travel. The teachers were a real inspiration, who have experience in the field of Fashion, Events and Marketing, so we were constantly amazed with their impressive work titles and jobs, what better way to learn than from someone in the field.
the Girls night out: Me, Laura, Ana, Poppy, Sonal, Dani and Becky
The thing that most surprised me about Florence was how small the city was! I am from Adelaide which is a relatively small city compared to other cities in Australia, but I LOVED the size of Florence. It was big enough to be constantly surprised; steeped in culture, history and fashion but small enough to call the city your home. Sounds very corny but on the first day I picked up a free tourist map of Florence … and every time I went somewhere, walked a street or loved an area I would circle with a pen on the fold out A4 map … and by the end of the 4 weeks my page was filled with pink circles, annotates and coloured lines, all depicting the areas I have visited.
View of Florence from the top of the Duomo
One particular night we went for a walk along the river Arno and came across a bar looking over the Arno and watched the sun set whilst enjoying the company of each another. Further along the river we came across a interpretive 2 man dance show on the bank, where Poppy Mee and Jemma Mrdak participated in the show … very funny! We made our way back to the Ponte Vechio (main bridge in Florence) where below on the bank of the river was a live fashion show, we were absolutely blown away by the atmosphere and our luck to view from above the Italian fashion show. However, thinking back on it, every night in Florence was exciting and new, so my point being, don’t miss out on the beauties of Florence streets!
My tips would be to make the most of the amazing opportunity you have been given. How many people can say that they have lived a summer as a Florentine as a 19 year old student … I can and so will you! Honestly, I never felt unsafe in Florence, not once but still keep your guard and be careful.
Our daily gelato during uni lunch break: Laura, Samar, Jemma, Ana, Emma, Dani and myself
Take time to enjoy Florence, walk around, have a geleto … or two a day, wine and dine, go out for drinks with fellow housemates, and savior the wonderment that Florence has to offer. My final tip would be to buy a Lonely Planet book on Florence, I bought I tiny handbag size book. This was literally my best friend! Great ideas to wine and dine, tourist activities and general advice that can assist you!
Emma, Jemma and Laura (myself left) doing a daily dose of shopping!
Everything! I miss waking up to the sounds of Vespa’s beeping, church bells, going to uni during the day, the cuisine, the wine, the laughs, the teachers, weekend adventures, the shopping, the fashion, Florence culture, organising the event for a Italian sneakers brand, meeting the locals, trying to master Italian, visiting our local coffee shop, having a macchiato every morning, being around 16 close friends, the apartment, the Ponte Vechio, the night life and so so much more!
Palazzo Vecchio with the girls! (Fake David in the background!!!)
In detail though … I miss weekend Adventures! We all made the most out of our long weekends (Friday through to Sunday), travelling through Italy. Milan, Venice, Sienna, Rome, Cinque Terra, Pisa and the local Tuscan town … we did it all! One of the funniest moments was racing to the train station on our way to the Cinque Terre with about 6 other students in the course, we were in tears laughing so much as we were racing to reach the train in time … very funny and a moment I will never forget!
My advice … make the most of all your weekends! Even if it means doing the ‘touristy’ activities in Florence and enjoying the city you are living in… do something and get out there!
I never thought I would say this, but I actually miss going to uni during the day! I miss the walks through the Florence streets to and from uni, the eccentric Italian teachers, the lunch gelato lunch breaks, our local coffee shop and many more! When you find something you LOVE to study and have a passion for it makes it much easier and enjoyable!
Below are 2 photos that I took that truly summarise the naturally beautiful culture of Florence.
I am studying full time back in Adelaide, Australia but work at a Interior styling business in Adelaide called Fresh House and Gardens Presentations and casual promotion work on the weekends.
The AIM Overseas program definitely influenced my choice of career path! Throughout school I was always surrounded with friends who knew what they wanted to do and study when they finished school, where as I had no idea and it started to become an unsettling feeling. I had some ideas but nothing I was truly excited and passionate about.
I have always been interested in fashion and reading fashion and design magazines and loved being around people but I never really put two and two together. After studying Fashion Events and Public Relations at the IED in Florence, I soon realized that Events and Public Relations is the area I would like to pursue a career in. I find the industry fun and exciting and LOVED organizing an event for the Italian Sneakers Brand ‘D.A.T.E.’.
Jemma Mrdak, Emma Spencer and myself were the ‘Public Relations Girls’ for the event, so we were in charge of organising the PR for the event. We worked Closely with Alice Monolo, the ears and eyes of the sneaker brand, so we were able to gain real one on one lessons from someone in the field. Additionally, through the theoretical aspects of the course, our expert teachers taught us everything there is to know about Branding, Fashion Branding, Events, Marketing, Hospitality and many more topics.
So long story short, YES the program has positively impacted on the career path I am perusing and I would like to say THANKYOU.
You are only young once … just go for it!
I had the most incredibly fulfilling experience in Florence last July, a trip that I will NEVER forget. I met great people, lived the true lifestyle of a Florentine, wined and dined, travelled on the weekends and studied a course I was passionate about. I would like to say a huge THANKYOU to Aim Overseas for letting this trip possible!
Standing on the bank of the River Arno; Dani, Jemma, Me, Poppy, Emily, Becky and Laura