International Education Week: Aidan Marcinkowski

For International Education Week (Nov. 14-18, 2022), BHSU is highlighting several students who have had fantastic international experiences and educational opportunities. BHSU student and photography major Aidan Marcinkowski spent his summer in Florence, Italy for Internship Abroad.

What kind of work are you doing for your internship? What does your day-to-day look like?

I work as a photographer providing images for social media for the company Taste of Florence. An absolutely delicious tour, truthfully. I'll never see balsamic the same! My daily workday is...rather odd compared to what most other internships look like. I'll work on a tour once a week, whether it be the full Taste of Florence or a gelato tour, and from then on I'll work on editing photos and taking shots around Firenze itself. Essentially, it boils down to I get to walk around the city as I please taking photos of all the beautiful things that are enticing about it! 

What was challenging about study abroad and how did you overcome those moments? What did you learn from those challenges?

The biggest challenge I've come to face is the language barrier for day-to-day life. Ordering a coffee is easy, I always take a latte macchiato in the morning, and a caffe normale in the evenings after every meal! However, when trying to get directions from locals when maps go awry, it becomes a real challenge. The people in tourist cities like Firenze, Venezia, Roma, etc all have a decent grasp of English, but there' still definitely that challenge. I've found, with the help of a month of very intense language courses, to just bluster through. I've made myself known that I barely know the language, and the locals are so incredibly friendly I find them able to help correct me and laugh with me when I trip myself up! The best I can say is just go for it! 

What has been the most exciting experience you have had?

Visiting Venice during the Redentore, a 500 year old festival! Venice as a whole is the most beautiful city I've ever seen. 

Would you recommend study abroad to future students?

Absolutely, without a doubt. Doing this program has probably been one of the best things I've ever done in my life! From meeting new people, to seeing how a country not reliant on cars runs, even though they do adore their cars. Having the ability to visit several towns without actually needing any form of personal transportation, or having rentable bikes on every corner, is all an eye opening experience. New foods, which we've been oh so wrong about everything Italian. It's all so delicious. To hearing a dozen different languages as you walk by Piazza della Signoria!

Photos Taken by Aidan Marcinkowski