#StudyAbroadBecause It Will Change Your Life!

by Dr. Jessie Voigts / Mar 10, 2015 /
Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture

My name is Kynsi Saye and I am currently a senior at Colorado State University. I am pursuing a major in apparel merchandising with a minor in business administration. Upon graduation, I hope to pursue a career in the active wear industry and stay in Colorado. I am also a member of a professional dance company called Dream Project Dance Company. I have been dancing most of my life and do not see myself stopping any time soon. Apart from dance and fashion, some of my other interests include travelling, photography, hiking, being outdoors and spending time with my family and friends.


Kynsi Saye in Venice. #StudyAbroadBecause It Will Change Your Life!


What motivated your decision to go abroad? How/why did you choose where to go?

One of my friends in my major decided she wanted to go abroad and persuaded me to do so also. I had never really thought about studying abroad until she mentioned it, so if it were not for her, I probably would have never gone. I chose to study in Florence, Italy. Italy just seemed right for an apparel merchandise major and I knew with its influence it has had on the fashion world, it would probably be the most influential place to go. I did not look into any other countries; from the beginning, I knew I would end up somewhere in Italy.


Florence. #StudyAbroadBecause It Will Change Your Life!


What was your experience like? What is your favorite memory? What were some challenges you observed?

My experience was better than I could have ever imagined. I was absolutely perfect. Although, it was jam packed and exhausting, it was so much fun. My favorite memory is spending time with my 5 other roommates and experiencing everything with them by my side. All 6 of us did almost everything together. One memory that really stands out to me would be our weekend at Oktoberfest in Germany. It was probably one of the best weekends of my life. I also really enjoyed the little things we did, like eating gelato on the steps of the Duomo and hike up the Piazza Michelangelo to see the best view of Florence.

On the way to Italy, I ended up missing my plane, which was terrifying. That was the first challenge and probably the hardest. Once I survived that, nothing else fazed me. Finding my way around was difficult and I got really good at reading maps. The language barrier was always a challenge but I figured it out for the most part. All of the challenges were wonderful learning experiences so I am thankful for all of them.


Kynsi Saye - #StudyAbroadBecause It Will Change Your Life!


What skills did you develop from your experience? Do you feel changed from your experience abroad?

Skills I developed would be being able to navigate extremely well, remaining calm in the most chaotic of times, learning to adapt to another culture, and being able to not only get along with the other students but also learn to get along with people in other cultures. I feel like it was a huge step out of my comfort zone and it forced me to grow up a lot. I felt stronger physically and mentally when I returned to the states. I feel like I can overcome any obstacle I come across.


Has your experience helped you get to where you are today?

Studying abroad has helped me get where I am today in the sense that I am a stronger person. I am able to handle difficult times better and I am overall more knowledgeable. I also believe studying abroad says a lot about the individual such as their independence, drive, passion, and sense of adventure. It has enhanced my outlook on life and it has leaded me to continue to pursue my dreams. I know now that travelling the world is a goal I want to achieve. I believe it will help me in the future with job opportunities, and it is always a great conversation starter!


Kynsi Saye. #StudyAbroadBecause It Will Change Your Life!


What advice would you share with other students who are thinking of going abroad?

As far as finances go, I would say it is better to plan for spending too much than too little. I kept all my money in an account and I would go to the ATM to get cash only when I needed it so I wasn’t carrying around cash all the time. Also be extremely careful with your wallet and other valuables. I was fortunate enough not to get anything stolen but it does happen. Many of my friends had their wallets and passports stolen. My advice is it is never a bad thing to be too cautious. Hold onto your bag and keep it in front of you at all times and be aware of your surroundings.

As far as experiences, go for anything. If you are not sure about whether you should do something or not, DO IT! My time abroad went so fast and I wish I could have done some much more (even though I don’t know if that is possible in only 4 months). I would also say to really experience and spend time in the town you are living in. I travelled almost every weekend, which was amazing, but I wish I had spent more time exploring Florence during the week. Also, remember it is okay if you do not travel every weekend; don’t feel like you have to, because sometimes it is better to embrace the place you are in. Overall, try to experience everything and have no regrets. Embrace your time abroad, because it really does fly by.


Pizza in Italy. #StudyAbroadBecause It Will Change Your Life!


How has international education impacted or influenced your cultural identity?

International education has opened up a new world to me. It was interesting to learn the way of life in Italy and how they “work to live” as opposed to the United States where we often “live to work”. That is the same with the schooling. The teachers are a lot more relaxed and the curriculum is not so specific. I really enjoyed the schooling part and getting to know the professors. The professors were all extremely friendly and laid back. I learned so much in each of my classes, and it was amazing how much more I learned since I was immersed in the culture. For example, I took a “History of Italian Fashion” course and to be able to visit the actual places where the fashion shows took place, and to be able to learn about the Italian designers gave me a better idea of the culture. That is something that you cannot get in the US. I enjoyed experiencing the quality of international education.


#StudyAbroadBecause It Will Change Your Life!


Is there anything else you'd like to share with us?

I believe every student should study abroad if they have the financial means to do so. It is a once in a lifetime experience that is made possible through your university. It will never be this easy to go abroad again. I have met some of my best friends abroad and made some of the best memories. I will remember my study abroad experience forever. Even if you are unsure about if you want to go abroad, I would advise you to do so, because you won’t know what it is like until you experience it for yourself. Each person is different and will tell you their outlook on it, but it is truly something you have to experience for yourself and create your own opinion on it.


#StudyAbroadBecause It Will Change Your Life!


#StudyAbroadBecause It Will Change Your Life!




All photos courtesy and copyright Kynsi Saye