An Interdisciplinary Gateway into Culture

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AN INTERDISCIPLINARY GATEWAY INTO CULTURE

By Laura Grammes

Photo by Geoffrey Poncelet

J School student Laura Grammes reflects on how involvement in multiple disciplines have broadened her cultural perceptions of the global study experience.

There is only so much an individual could do without the tools given to express his or herself. An artist cannot paint without paint. A chef cannot cook without food. And lastly, a student cannot learn without the guidance from an instructor. As my semester at Florence University of the Arts comes to a close, the experiences I have gathered will not only last a lifetime but serve as the tools I will need to further my journey in life.

 

Throughout my time at Florence University of the Arts, or shortly known as FUA, I’ve spent my days studying the art of authentic Tuscan cooking in Apicius, the hospitality division at FUA. At Apicius, one realizes that food is something more than just flavors on a plate.

 

I’ve learned that with every ingredient there is a purpose, a piece of culture reflected in every bite. Unlike any education I could receive back home, studying traditional Florentine cuisine in Florence does more than just broaden one’s palette. It opens your eyes to the true Tuscan flavor that has revolutionized the way the world views the art of cooking.  

 

Along with serving up some Florentine flavor, my studies also ventured into creative, globalized writing through FUA’s School of Journalism, Communication, and Publishing. At FUA, in a city full of different customs and linguistic modes, there has never been a greater stress in broadening one’s horizons beyond his or her home country.

 

The world we live in is alive with vast languages and people. To be able to acknowledge that existence and to strengthen one’s pen beyond the expectations we are accustomed to is a lesson from the J School I’ll always take with me. Although these skills could be learned in any school, any country around the globe, there was something special about studying at FUA and that was the immense culture found within the institution.  Located right in the heart of the many historical centers Florence has to offer, there wasn’t a footstep taken that didn’t lead you down the rustic cobblestone streets or gorgeous Tuscan countryside.

 

FUA not only provides its student with the open-air feeling that Florence offers, but also independent living assignments allowing for students to break away from the dorm-room feeling and experience life as a true Florentine. By studying at this specific university, my eyes opened up to the beauty of Florence and its people. I wasn’t stuck on a stiff campus, behind a gated community, but instead immerse within the city center as I was urged to explore and discover.  Professors and advisors alike led the way on wonderful field learning activities in historic locations. FUA didn’t just provide me with an education, but an experience that will last a lifetime.

 

In this lifetime, the tools we use to craft our lives are up to our choosing. We choose to receive an experience, a skill, a memory that will help better ourselves as human beings. My time at FUA has taught me a variety of things not only about Florence, but life. Within a city full of rich history and culture, my time abroad wasn’t filled with stuffy classrooms but open adventures at my disposal with FUA.  Soon, I’ll leave Florence behind as I venture home but with me I’ll take the tools from my studies to appreciate my travels, wherever they may lead.


 


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