Rowan Blog contributor Public Relations major Natalie DePersia shares her study abroad experience as she traveled to London, Paris, Milan and Florence to study Fashion Marketing Communication through the American Institute of Foreign Study (AIFS).
The best things in life happen when you least expect it.
In January 2022, I was a full-time Public Relations student with a dual minor in Psychology and Sports Communication and Media, looking for a new adventure and a change of pace. For most of my life, I was an individual who always had a fascination with the fashion industry; I have been easily excited and intrigued by all realms of the fashion world since I was young.
As a person constantly trying to expand my knowledge and learn new skills, I have grown a great interest in traveling abroad to expand my educational career in a new place and within a new subject and field of study.
This was when I began researching different programs in countries and cities that piqued my interest.
I remember the day like it was yesterday. Finding a program that combined fashion with my passion for traveling seemed like a dream come true. I immediately made an appointment with my advisor and the Rowan International Center to discuss logistics to begin my study abroad application process.
That June, several months after planning and preparing, I departed the United States to study Fashion Marketing and Communication throughout London, Paris, Milan and Florence for one month. This program focused on the business side of fashion and combined traditional classroom learning with visits to fashion museums, manufacturers and collections.
Throughout the program, I had the privilege to view some of the most renowned fashion museums and collections in the world: Yves Saint Laurent Museum in Paris, the Palais Galleria’s Alber Elbaz Tribute exhibition in Paris, the Victoria and Albert Museum’s Fashion Masculinities and Art of Menswear Gucci exhibition in London, the Fondazione Prada Useless Bodies exhibition in Milan, and more.
Studying abroad for Fashion Marketing and Communication introduced me to the fashion world. In addition, it allowed me to apply the tools I have learned throughout my Public Relations major to a new field of interest.
I am incredibly grateful that I was not only fortunate enough to have the opportunity to travel abroad throughout that summer but by being introduced to lifelong friends throughout this journey.
An immense amount of my joy and collection of my best memories from this experience is because of the friendships and relationships that I have formed. This experience has also piqued my interest in pursuing my master’s degree in London, UK Fashion after I graduate from Rowan University with my undergraduate degree this May.
My advice for anyone interested in studying abroad or curious about taking their education overseas is to research your options and discuss all opportunities with the resources available to you, like Rowan’s International Center. By meeting with counselors frequently, my decision to study abroad and making all my arrangements was a seamless process that I would do over and over again if it meant I could relive the experiences that I have had.
With a leap of faith and an immensely supportive circle, I took the trip of a lifetime to study fashion within the top three fashion capitals of the world: London, Paris and Milan. While looking back and greatly appreciating the art I observed and the experiences I have had made, I will forever be grateful that I wandered onto the Rowan University abroad website on a random Tuesday afternoon.
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Story and photos by:
Natalie DePersia, senior public relations major