GSM Spotlight: Olivia Villecco

Year Senior

Major Accounting

Minor International Studies


Study Abroad Program UConn in Florence, Italy (Faculty-Led), Spring 2017

What advice would you give to outbound study abroad students to help them make the most of their study abroad experiences?

Have an open mind to try new things and see things from different perspectives. Don’t be judgemental of other cultures. Eat the local food wherever you go. Speak the language, travel often, and savor every moment!

Why did you choose your program?

I wanted a program that enabled me to travel throughout Europe, broaden my knowledge, and just have an unforgettable time. The city of Florence is such a culturally rich city and I was able to take art, food, history, and language classes to immerse myself in it all. I also really liked that my walk to class was down cobblestone streets past the Duomo and not on a confined campus; it made me feel more like a local. The location of Florence allowed us to easily travel all around Europe too.

What experiences did you have while studying abroad that you feel you could not have had if you had stayed at UConn?

Everything. I could not have learned about the historical intricacies of Michelangelo's David while standing in the Galleria dell'Accademia looking up at the masterpiece if I had stayed at UConn. I could not have developed a rich appreciation for Renaissance art if I had been sitting in a business classroom in Storrs. I could not have traveled to nine different countries, learning about the history of each, experiencing the culture of each, and interacting with the people in each country if I had just stayed at UConn. Studying abroad opened my eyes to so much more in the world.

If you could give only one reason, why would you suggest other students study abroad?


Why Study Abroad? And how has it impacted you for your future academics, career and self?

Studying abroad changes a person's outlook on life. For me, studying abroad has ignited my curiosity for new cultures and ways of living, becoming a more well-rounded person. Studying abroad has given me the confidence to navigate through Europe and travel anywhere. I‘ve been bitten by the travel bug, and now I want to plan my life around traveling more.