Alumni Spotlight: Jordan Helmey

Jordan Helmey is a junior at Salisbury University, and in the past summer spent two months in Florence, Italy. She had a great time learning some Italian, meeting new people, eating wonderful food, and working at an internship in event planning. Although it was not her first time to Italy, it was the first time she lived there on her own. She had a wonderful time and is dying to go back! She advises anyone debating going to Italy to GO!

Why did you decide to intern abroad with Global Experiences in Florence?

One of the last nights in Florence

Jordan: I started looking for programs to study abroad with through my school’s abroad page. I was originally looking for studying abroad not internships. When I saw the link for Global Experiences, I thought I’d take a look. When I was looking at what they had to offer I saw they offered positions in Event Planning. This is one of the areas I am really interested in working in and it is not very common I find a title that specific to what I would like to do. So after considering the price range and looking at the location options, we decided this would be a great opportunity!

What made this experience unique and special?

Jordan: I had actually been to Italy before,but both times prior I was with my family or a school tour group. This was the first time I was on my own in a foreign country where I did not speak the language. This experience was unique because I was given the opportunity to work with a company in event planning and make connection that I never could have in the States. I met new people and made great friends while spending a summer of a lifetime learning new things and traveling Europe. I gained a newfound independence from this trip and wouldn’t trade it for anything!

How has this experience impacted your future?

Jordan: Personally: this experience has impacted my future because it has changed how I look at opportunities. I look at them as chances to learn something new and gain a new experience. The people I met abroad impacted how I view people from all over the world. I learned that though we come from different places we all still have so much in common. Professionally: because of this summer in Italy with Global Experiences, my future has become much more realistic to me. I now have not only a great reference to put on my resume but a set of new skills and experiences under my belt to make me more marketable.

Italian class with the wonderful Stefano!

What was the highlight of your experience?

Jordan: The highlight of my experience abroad is really hard to narrow down. There are so many wonderful memories I will remember forever from this trip. But if I had to pick I would pick one from work and one from my travels. For my travels, I would have to say the trip I took to Sicily with my friend Heather. We had to learn to navigate the Italian airlines and the bus system of yet another Italian city all on our own. Not to mention the food, the beaches, and the memories we made on that trip. Traveling was one of the best parts of my experience abroad.

It helped me see so many places I had never imagined before and it helped me grow into becoming more independent. Doing it with a friend just made the memories even better. The work experience that I enjoyed the most was when my boss surprised me one day by taking me to the Uomo Pitti exhibition. I had heard about it but never expected to go. When I showed up to work that day she said “Don’t sit down, we are going on a trip!” Spending the day outside of the office, getting to know my boss at the same time as experiencing one of the biggest fashion exhibitions in Florence was unforgettable!

What is one piece of advice you would offer someone considering interning abroad in Florence?

Jordan: My advice…just do it! When else will you get the opportunity to! It is a once in a lifetime chance to get outside of our comfort zone, meet new people, travel the world, and have an experience you will never forget. I celebrated my 21st birthday in Italy and yes I missed being with my friends and family from home, but I wouldn’t trade those two months in Italy for anything. The friends I made, the trips I took, the food I tasted, and experience I had… TOTALLY WORTH IT!