The students of the Summer Program arrived in Florence to live a unique experience of personal and professional growth. The city offers the opportunity to immerse oneself in an atmosphere full of inspiration and cultivate one’s passions, it is the ideal place for those who love music and the arts and want to turn this dream into a reality.
We met the students who told us in their words the desires they have and the feelings they are experiencing.
Abigayle, 19, from New Jersey, is in Europe for the first time and tells us she is looking forward to engaging with music from both the opera and jazz cannon and “experiencing invaluable vocal coaching from her wonderful voice teacher, Polly Cornelius and the renowned AEF staff”, to return to the United States as a more fully realized and well-rounded individual.
“I’ve always loved music and singing, and I cannot think of a better place to study than Italy. The people here are so welcoming and I am having the best time so far” says Abbey, 20 years old, who from Georgetown came to Florence to study Italian and Opera.
Mary Louise is 21 and is from North Carolina, “I decided to come here because I wanted to experience the beauty of singing opera in Florence for the second time, it’s one of my favorite places in the world!”
Nicole, 21, is from New York, and says “The dream I want to realize here is my love for performing and jazz - I can’t wait to perform in Florence since there’s so much culture and appreciation for the arts here!”
“I love performing and i am so grateful to have an opportunity such as this one. This is such a unique experience and i am so excited to sing alongside some of the most talented people i know who also happen to be some of my best friends” - words said by Mae, 20, from New Jersey.
Alexa already knew Florence “In 2019 I came to Italy for the first time and did the AEF Opera summer program, it was such a life changing experience that I needed to come back, so I did!”
“I decided to do this experience to do what I love to do most (sing) in a place with such a prominent and beautiful artistic history” says Taylor, 20 year old from Pennsylvania. “I want to push myself to get out of my comfort zone and really embrace the challenges of living and learning in a different country.”
Miles is 21 years old and is from North Carolina. “I came on this exact program in summer of 2019 and loved so much that I had to come back!”. And adds “My favorite part of the opera program here at AEF would have to be dressing up in full costume and performing all over Florence.”
“I hope studying abroad will give me a new perspective on global art and culture” says Emerson who is 19 and comes from Connecticut. She loves food, art, and music that "are everywhere in Florence!” and wants to take advantage of the Summer Program to also get passionate about jazz.
Natalie is from New York City and shares with us - “I decided to live this experience because I wanted to not only grow as a singer, but also as a person and I thought there would be no better way to do so then to come here.”
Megan, from Virginia, had already been to Florence and couldn’t wait to come back - “My hope is to experience all of my favorite parts of Florence in one last study abroad trip before I find a job in the states”.
“The energy in Italy is unlike anything I've ever experienced, and the sense of community in the music is sincerely touching and inspiring. I hope to carry that with me back home and for the rest of my life as a person, professional and performer” – these are the words of Sam, 22-year-old drummer from Virginia.