Ciao, my name is Vanesa Carreno and I am a junior at the University of South Florida. I am majoring in Public Health and I am on the pre-med track. In the future, I hope to go to medical school to become a pediatric oncologist.
This summer I am a part of the USF Science in Florence program! I will be taking biochemistry at the Florence University of the Arts and I have the amazing opportunity to do physician shadowing at major teaching hospitals around Florence. I never really saw myself studying abroad because of the financial aspect and I didn’t think that there was a program that would count towards my pre-med requisites… little did I know. One day someone from the study abroad office came into my class to talk to us about the USF Science in Florence program and I was amazed at how many options there are available for education abroad opportunities. If you are considering studying abroad, I promise you that there is a program out there that is the right fit for you. You just have to do a little research.
Another misconception I had of studying abroad was that it is too expensive and I also let that hold me back from exploring the different study abroad programs that USF has to offer. There are so many scholarships out there that are available to students that will help fund your study abroad program. I am very lucky to be the recipient of the Global Citizen’s Project Study Abroad Scholarship and the Greenbaum/ Genshaft Passport Scholarship. These scholarships allowed me to pay for my tuition at the Florence University of the Arts and made my dream to study abroad come true.
Now that I am a couple hours away from hopping on a plane and traveling across the world, I am looking forward to so many things and I hope to learn as much from the culture as I can. Professionally, I am excited to observe the Italian healthcare system and how it differs to what I am used to and I know that being exposed to another culture is going to make me a globally aware future physician. Personally, this is the first time that I am ever going to be on my own. This can be nerve-wracking but the support given to me by my family, the people that are in my program, and the faculty members made me feel more at ease. To think that I will be living in the center of the Italian Renaissance for six weeks is going to be the adventure of a lifetime!