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Bryn Mawr Students Experience Diplomacy Firsthand in Florence, Italy

November 15, 2023
Group photo of four Bryn Mawr students and Daniela Ballard '90 in the US Consulate in Florence, Italy.
Lillian Belzer, Sofia Cirone, Lauren Kitay, and Norah Rivett meet U.S. Consul General to Florence Daniela Ballard '90.

Normally, students abroad may pay a visit to the U.S. Consulate for bureaucratic matters like replacing a lost passport or other citizens' services. However, on November 8th, four Bryn Mawr students studying abroad at ISI Florence, Italy had the chance to meet the new Consul General Daniela Ballard, Bryn Mawr alumna from the Class of 1990.

The four juniors, Lillian Belzer, Sofia Cirone, Lauren Kitay, and Norah Rivett, joined Ballard for an informal chat. They covered many aspects ranging from life as a student abroad, life at Bryn Mawr, and the likes and dislikes of studying in Florence. Ballard also told the four students about her time at Bryn Mawr and how her various post-grad studies and career moves eventually led to her joining the Foreign Service where she has served for the past twenty years. The special session offered a glimpse into the professional journey and insights of a fellow alumna and the career opportunities their education and international experiences can offer.

Two Bryn Mawr students and Daniela Ballard seated around a coffee table.
Bryn Mawr’s Fall 2023 ISI Florence participants learn from Consul General Ballard’s Foreign Service experience.

Each year, about 40% of the junior class studies abroad, usually for one semester, at one of more than 80 approved programs. Students may begin to think about study abroad in their first year and are welcome to visit the Study Abroad Resource Library in the Lower Level of Guild Hall and to begin to explore approved programs. Applications to study abroad in the 2024-25 semester open on November 15.

Study Abroad