FUA Alum: KARA BRADY
Interview by Lauren Fromin
Our newest Alumni interview catches us up with spring 2014 study abroad student Kara Brady. She recently graduated with her Masters in Accounting from Fair eld University in 2016. Read about her study abroad experience at FUA and living in Florence, Italy below.
I came to FUA through Fairfield University in Connecticut. I graduated from Fairfield in 2015 with my undergraduate degree. I loved it so much that I stuck around for another year for my Masters in Accounting and graduated from that program in 2016. I now work at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in New York City and am studying for my CPA to be a Certified Public Accountant. It’s been exciting to start my career as I transition from my life as a student.
I studied in Florence during the spring semester of my junior year. I was there from January to May of 2014. I took two ethics courses abroad including Ethics in Communication and Ethics in a World Context. As a history class I studied Contemporary Mafia and Antimafia. This course was especially interesting to take while living in Italy. I didn’t speak any Italian when I arrived in Italy so my Beginners Italian Language course was really helpful. My Italian teacher was so passionate about teaching which made our class a lot of fun. She made the classroom so welcoming that our class became very close during the semester. Lastly I took a Dance Workshop as a performing arts class. I had been taking dance classes since I was three so I loved having the opportunity to dance in Florence. My instructor Keith Ferrone was very encouraging and talented – I always looked forward to this class. We also got to interact with professional dancers during the semester and watching them dance was amazing!
I always wanted to study abroad because I thought living in Europe for a semester would be such a unique, once in a lifetime experience. I guess my ultimate goal was just to take full advantage of the time that I had abroad. I wanted to make sure that I got to see as much as possible by exploring the city of Florence and traveling throughout Europe. I tried to step out of my comfort zone and really embrace the culture I was in. Having that goal and attitude helped make the most of my experience. By attending FUA I met so many students from different schools and learned from professors that came from a variety of backgrounds. Studying at FUA was a very new experience for me and has prepared me for the next chapter of my life as I start to work in NYC. Everything about my time in Italy was so memorable. I lived on Via Ghibellina and loved being in such a central location to walk around Florence. I also took a cooking class with a few of my friends that was held once a week at our teacher’s home. It was so cool to learn how to make an authentic Italian meal from scratch and share it at the dining room table like we were at home. I was lucky enough to go to Florence with my three best friends from Fairfield and we did a lot of traveling together. We went on many trips and it was incredible to get to see so many places in Europe and experience new cities together.
My advice to future FUA students is to eat as much Italian cuisine as possible! I think that may be what I miss the most. My roommates and I bought journals at the Mercato Centrale when we first got to Florence and kept a log of each day including where we went, what we ate, and anything memorable that happened that day. It’s a great thing to look back on and remember all your days abroad. Lastly, I would make sure to go to the Giardino delle Rose near Piazzale Michelangelo. It’s a beautiful rose garden that has an awesome view of Florence. It’s my favorite place in the city and the walk there from FUA is really lovely.