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Studying art in Florence

International study options were important to Samantha Precup ’09 when she was making her college choice. Because more than a third of Santa Clara students study abroad during their junior year and because the school has placements all over the globe, Precup’s decision to become a Bronco was easy.

For her junior year abroad, Precup chose to study in Florence, Italy. Though she had traveled to Italy twice before, experiencing the city as a resident was different.

“The beauty was out of this world,” Precup says. She visited the Palazzo Vecchio government building, the Accademia Gallery to see Michelangelo’s David, and the Uffizi Gallery, which houses art by artists from Leonardo da Vinci to Vincent Van Gogh. Having already taken Art History as a Western culture course at Santa Clara helped deepen her appreciation of the exhibits.

Precup found that living abroad was much different than living on Santa Clara’s Mission campus. She says she lived a much simpler life: Her apartment was much smaller. And when she went to the store, her choices were more limited: There were only 15 cereal brand choices, for example, compared to the hundreds found in American stores.

“Italians live life a lot more slowly,” Precup says, noting their frequent three-hour lunches and wanderings to the nearby cyber café.

And she’s ready to go back sometime soon.

Samantha Precup '09, communication major, French and francophone studies minor

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