Kassandra Affede

Date: June, 2014
Degree: Bachelor of Public Relations
Short-term program: Public Relations in Fashion & Events
Organization/University: IED, Florence
Host Country: Italy

Affede 1Can you tell us briefly about your short-term experience abroad?

I went to Florence, Italy to study PR in Fashion & Events as part of my PR & Event Management degree in Australia. As part of our course, we were to construct and strategise a communication plan and event proposal for local Florence leather company Bisbag, which used recycled leather to create luxury bags and accessories. The course culminated in a brand launch which we had worked towards since day one of the course.

I had the most wonderful time on my short term overseas exchange. The girls which I lived and studied with (12 of us) all shared a very close bond that will continue on now that we are back home. We would study 4 days a week and had Friday – Sunday to explore the city and surrounding areas. The city of Florence was breathtaking and for a moment I think I believed I had become Italian. And the food...I don’t think I have the words to describe how ridiculously decadent it all was.

Can you see any benefits from this experience to your future career?

It was interesting to see how Italians treat Public Relations and their communication planning compared to Australia. It was beneficial to learn how different countries operate in these fields for future overseas employment opportunities.  Most of the other students participating in the exchange were different forms of media students, with only a few of us P.R students. I saw the exchange as a mini-internship or placement that allowed me to use my knowledge and skills that I accrued from my degree thus far and put them into practise through assessments and running of a fashion event. Also, befriending all the girls from other parts of Australia who are studying the same or similar degrees as me has given me lots of interstate contacts for when we all enter the industry.

Affede 2Why would you recommend this experience to other students?

The exchange gave me a better sense of self and place in the world. It opens your eyes to how others live and learn. You are totally immersed in the culture and it makes you realise how small your world is back home. My family are also from Italy so for me, it gave me a better idea of my families identity. 

What advice would you give to a student who was hesitant or considering joining the short-term exchange program?

You meet great people, experience great opportunities, get to eat all the amazing Italian food and get to see all the breathtaking scenery. I can’t see why you WOULDN’T consider joining the exchange program. It’s really a “take life by the horns” experience, just jump in and you will be glad that you did. 

Top Tips:
Eat all the gelati!

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