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From Wisconsin to Italy

Hi! My name is Ellie Britain. I’m from Madison, and I am currently studying abroad in Italy. Since my junior year of high school, I have always loved the idea of spending some college time in another country and learning about another culture. This year, I have had the amazing opportunity to study at Villa Aurora in Florence. I’m working on a foreign language minor to add to my Business Finance degree at Union College. I have had an amazing time in the few weeks that I’ve been here. I’ve gotten to travel a little bit, meet a ton of new people, and just learn a lot about Italian culture. The Italian countryside is beautiful, and I’m in love with our campus. Already, I have learned how to use public trams, tasted many different types of gelato (It’s SO GOOD), and explored downtown Florence many times.

I’m still getting used to the use of the 24-hour clock and I’m slowly picking up the Italian language. But it has been fun to spend my time experiencing new things. One highlight from my time here is that I volunteered to be the spiritual representative for our ACA class of ‘23-24. I wanted to get involved with the school and connect with the other students, and I felt drawn to this position. As a spiritual rep, I will help organize spiritual moments with the chaplain, encouraging the students to help us or get involved, as well as involving myself with whatever the campus needs. I’ve already gotten to play music for Vespers and it was a blast.

I am really looking forward to what God is going to teach me this year through the people I meet, the culture I’m in, and the time I spend with him. Hopefully, I can be a good example of Christ and help the other students in their walk with God. I look forward to the year and all the possibilities, and I can’t wait to go home and share what I’ve learned and experienced.

You can read more updates about Ellie's experience in Italy, via her blog at

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