Travel Tales: Valerie McMullen's Study Abroad Experience in Florence, Italy

Alyssa Papa
Feb 6, 2024

Embarking on a journey of self-discovery and cultural immersion, Valerie McMullen, a spirited student from Duquesne University, ventured to the picturesque city of Florence, Italy, during the summer of 2023. Partnering with The University of Pittsburgh's study abroad program, Valerie's experience was transformative.

In her own words, Valerie reflects on her enriching adventure, "My time abroad was nothing short of amazing."

One of the highlights of Valerie's experience was the opportunity to visit both an International School and an Italian school, bustling with enthusiastic elementary-age children.

In her free time, Valerie immersed herself in the Florentine life, indulging in the culinary delights of Italian cuisine and uncovering hidden gems nestled within the city's streets.

Yet, Valerie's thirst for adventure extended beyond Florence. "I was fortunate enough to visit three additional countries while abroad," she shares with excitement. Traveling within Italian regions and venturing across international borders, Valerie embraced the opportunity to broaden her horizons and discover new cultures.

One aspect of her journey that resonated deeply with Valerie was the ease and affordability of travel within Italy and beyond. Navigating the extensive network of trains became one of her favorite activities.

Phi Kappa Phi is currently accepting applications for its Study Abroad Grants. One hundred and twenty-five $1,000 grants are awarded each year. Will you be the next recipient? The deadline to apply is March 15. Learn more at