study abroad: REBECCA LADD

April 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

Rebecca Ladd, a third yea IARC student, is currently spending her spring semester studying abroad in Florence, Italy. While the idea of residing in a foreign country seems like an exciting adventure, Rebecca reassures us that this adventure is turning out to be a dream come true. “I still can’t believe I’m here until I walk down a main street and run into an architectural marvel” reports Rebecca.

What about Italy attracted you to study abroad there?

Along with my interest in art and architecture, I wanted to study in a country with a language and culture very unlike my own. I wanted to go to Italy because I have always been intrigued by architecture of antiquity as well as the styles that I have used as precedents in my projects. There is nothing like seeing the buildings I have learned about in books and my architecture history and theory classes. They are so much more “larger than life” and much more impressive! Living in Florence I have been able to visit places like Rome and Venice and see works of architecture from classical periods to renaissance and baroque periods.

How does Italian culture influence your views on design?

I think as a designer one has to know about others in order to design accordingly, since we are designing for other people and not ourselves.

What are you studying there?

In Florence I am studying the history of art and architecture in the Renaissance as well as taking a sustainable design studio. I thought it would be a great way to see how sustainability is being handled in another country .It is interesting to get my Italian professor’s perspective on sustainability as well as a world perspective as to where architects and designers are going design-wise.

How do you handle the culture shock and the language barrier?

It was frustrating for the first month living among Italians and having to deal with the language barrier.  I had taken an Italian class at UNCG prior to coming here but it was very intimidating just trying to ask for something as simple as a grocery bag at the store. But as I have lived here for only a few months I have gotten more comfortable with the language and I feel like I have a new respect for the lifestyle and the people who live here. Luckily my professors speak English, so I think they are as interested in what I have been studying in the US as I am in their course work.

Photo by: Rebecca Ladd

Photo by: Rebecca Ladd

Photo by: Rebecca Ladd

Photo by: Rebecca Ladd

For more news about Rebecca’s travels and her study abroad experience, please visit her Study Abroad Blog.

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