Why did you choose this program? I have always been fascinated by the Italian culture and its beautiful history and scenery so when I found this program, which allowed me to complete my two A&H GenEds over the summer, while in the beautiful country of Italy, I knew it was a perfect fit.
Describe your favorite classes abroad. While abroad I took two class: Drawing and Renaissance Florence. Both classes were wonderful because we traveled throughout so much of the city, and beyond. We were able to see, experience, and learn so much more than any tourist would have been able to.
What was housing like on your study abroad program? Our entire program lived on one floor of a hotel, so it was very similar to the dorms. There were three or four people to a room and one bathroom for each room. We all ate in a room in the hotel together for breakfast and a sit-down, family style dinner. The location of our hotel was in the heart of Florence, with our hotel terrace looking at the marvelous Duomo, a mere block away.
What advice would you like to give to future study abroad students? I would highly recommend doing your research of the city you are studying in before you go, that way you are able to fully take advantage and use the most of your time, hopefully allowing more time to just explore and find things off the beaten path.
What's your best memory from your time abroad? My best memory was meeting a family friend's family for lunch, a traditional "pranzo" and they spoke no English at all, but welcomed me graciously and treated me as family and I learned so much about Italian culture in that one meal!
What was your biggest surprise? I was surprised that so many people spoke English! Even if it was very broken, most foreigners were able to get their point across and LOVED to practice their English with you.
What do you wish someone had told you before you left? Learn as much as possible about the city and its history BEFORE you go so that when you are there, you are able to connect the dots.
Discuss: "Going abroad vs. staying on campus" Going abroad you are forced to get out of your comfort zone every day. There is always something new to experience. Campus is home to me, quite literally because I grew up in Bloomington, and I feel like I know all of the nooks and crannies, and studying abroad was such a refreshing experience that gave me so much confidence because I was navigating new, foreign cities and cultures by myself.