ACCENT Community College Scholarship: Excitement, Awe, and Endless Exploration

Today’s post comes from ACCENT Community College Scholarship students Salina Lozano and Alejandro Morales, currently studying in Florence and Madrid. Salina and Alejandro discuss their amazement with the beauty and culture of their host cities, and share in their anticipation for the weeks ahead.

Salina Lozano
Orange Coast College
Summer in Florence 2018

This study abroad program has been a life-changing experience. It was my first time ever getting on an airplane; I definitely overcame the fear of flying during the twelve hour flight. It was worth overcoming the fear to arrive in Florence— it’s a beautiful city. I got extremely lucky to be paired with my roommates. We’re all very similar, very different, and we love to laugh!

The culture here is breathtakingly exquisite. I have grown used to the daily routine of grabbing a cappuccino and using my Italian more than I would back in the States. I’m constantly learning new things, and I absolutely love it. The individuals here in Florence that I’ve encountered have been extremely nice and patient.

I have taken my first train ride, and have continued to take trains to travel within Italy. So far, I have seen the beauty of Venice, Pisa, and Rome. I have ACCENT to thank for this enriching experience and the friendships created. I can’t imagine being anywhere else, other than being where I am right now in Florence, Italy.


Alejandro Morales
Orange Coast College
Summer in Madrid 2018

It’s been two weeks since I went to John Wayne Airport, hopped on a plane, and started my journey to Madrid, Spain. This is the first time that I had ever traveled to Europe and I’d been looking forward to it all year. The excitement started building up, and along with it, the anxiety of traveling. I started rushing from one plane to another, making sure that I had everything I needed, trying to get as much sleep as the flights would allow me to get. Before I knew it, I had set down my bags in my room, walked to the balcony and took it all in. I was finally here, I was in Madrid.

From the moment I stepped out of the metro to the moment I started writing this post, I have been impressed with the city’s architecture. Walking down the streets of Madrid, you can see all the beauty that goes into all the buildings, the craftsmanship that goes into every wooden door; you could not keep me from staring. The beauty that this city has to offer leaves me with amazement. There are statues everywhere you go, the views are breathtaking, you can walk to a plaza and you know that there is just so much history that has taken place wherever you might be standing. Then there’s the food. From fresh oysters, paella, champiñon, croquetas, the list goes on. I’ve also made an effort to try a new coffee place every time I can.

Everyone at ACCENT has been so helpful. They’ve taken us on tours and showed us around the city. My favorite place so far has been the Prado Museum. I found a new love for art there, Goya in particular. I have also noticed that my Spanish has been getting stronger with the two weeks I’ve spent here.  I can communicate better with the locals here, translating for fellow classmates. I find myself texting my family in Spanish, who are surprised by my comprehension. I am really appreciative of this opportunity that I have been blessed with and excited to see what these last few weeks have in store.

ACCENT is proud to support the Community College Scholarship as part of our commitment pledge to IIE Generation Study Abroad, a nationwide effort to help more U.S. students gain international experience through study abroad programs.

Ready to experience the food, architecture and culture of a new city for yourself? Research your study abroad options at, and to learn more about the ACCENT Community College Scholarship, visit: