A walk through the streets of Florence together with Dara, a Canadian student at AEF, is the perfect opportunity to discover the path that brought her to Italy and the dreams she would like to realize.
My name is Kyriaki, I come from Cyprus and I arrived in Florence in 2015 to study dance at the Accademia Europea di Firenze. If I were to select one of the key moments for my formative training here in Italy, I can’t help but think about the evening that marked the end of my studies. A real and true event, the "AEF Evening of the Arts: Dance, Opera and Fashion", at Teatro della Compagnia, where I danced and presented choreography, while Haelan Felton, a colleague from EKU, at AEF to study Fashion, designed the costumes.
I aspired to be a fine artist for many years of my life, never knowing if I’d ever get the opportunity to actually fulfil that vision let alone travel outside my beloved Africa. Italy however had always been a mystery to me.
How can you explain something you deeply love to someone else, in a way that will give them a true understanding? Often times, whether it’s your favorite song, the best spot to sit and read a book, or the best view for a sunset, these intangible things are hard to describe. It is even more frustrating because these intangibles are, usually, more meaningful than the tangibles. When given the opportunity to describe my experiences and impression of Florence after four months of studying abroad, I was intimidated. I find it hard enough to describe my weekend to a friend, let alone my entire study abroad experience to strangers.
The experience of living in Firenze makes you feel alive and fulfilled like no other city does. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is a Hungarian psychologist who spent most of his career conducting research about “optimal experiences.” The ideas he described in his 1990 book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience help to explain the fulfillment that you may experience in Firenze.