Bailey Westerhoff is a member of Marist's M.A. in Museum Studies Class of 2016. She received a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Why did you choose the Marist Italy Florence branch campus?
I studied abroad during my time as an undergraduate at the UC Center in Rome and enjoyed my experience so much, returning to study was all I wanted to do. The Marist Master’s program in Museum Studies offered me the opportunity to engage in my chosen field while living in Italy once more.
What is the learning experience like in Florence?
The learning experience here in Florence is highly unique, as we have the opportunity to engage with professionals and professors within the field of museums. All of the practical knowledge learned has been supplemented with the city around us, as we learn to work and live within Italian culture.
What is your favorite class? Why?
My favorite class has been Museum Spaces and Technologies taught by Profesoressa Silvia Cattiti. Going into this class I did not expect to enjoy it as much as I have. The class has provided me with an entirely new eye in which to assess the physical spaces of museums and how visitors interact with different types of spaces and the objects displayed within them.
What is your favorite place in Florence? Why?
My favorite place in Florence is the Mecato Centrale. I love going to the market in the mornings and buying fresh produce, nuts, and traditional Italian pastas from people who are truly passionate about their work. I also really enjoy going to the second floor of the Mercato as it is similar to an Italian style food court. The food is amazing and every person can get exactly what they want while still enjoying the company of friends. It is an exciting place to meet all types of people including local Florentines.
What is your least favorite aspect of living in Florence and why?
Sometimes it is hard to remember that things here move at a different pace than in the United States. Vespas will zoom past you on the tiny back alleys, but largely the pace of life is slower, sometimes making it difficult to get things accomplished in a timely manner.
What type of museum career are you pursuing, or are you planning on earning another degree?
I am going to pursue a career in Museum Education, specifically working on increasing accessibility in cultural institutions. I hope to one day work towards a Ph.D. but not until I gain more experience in the field.
What type of internship do you have or plan to have, and where is it located?
I am interning at the Denver Art Museum in Denver, Colorado. I will be assisting in the Accessibility and Education office.
Where have you traveled during your time in Italy?
Because I lived in Italy before I did not do as much traveling as others, however, I did have the opportunity to explore many cities around Florence. Cinque Terre, Puglia, Padova, and Siena proved to be some of my favorites. I also had the opportunity to explore Ireland, Scotland, London, and Berlin.
What is the most interesting difference between Florence and your home country?
Italians have a lot of little rules, typically surrounding food. For example, you should never drink a cappuccino after 11 am, or have wine with pizza. These are small cultural precedents that almost every Italian follows.
What advice would you give to a prospective student considering pursuing a Master of Museum Studies degree in Florence?
Come open-minded and ready to feel a little out of place at times. People here are typically very friendly and are just looking to see you try to embrace Italian culture.
Profile Tags:Profile Type: Alumni
Major: Museum Studies
Academic School: Communication and the Arts