Favorite portion of the class: Learning the technique of collagraph in the intaglio class was very rewarding and can be seen throughout my current work.
Describe the Housing Situation: The apartments are large and highly communal. We were always able to cook large dinners and enjoy them together since there were about five people per apartment.
Reason you chose this program: I wanted to immerse myself in printmaking and book arts in a country where the arts are highly admired and have a long history.
Best Memory: Since eating out was expensive, my group cooked almost every night. We would stop by the farmers' market on the way home from the studio and collect our ingredients. One night in particular, after a long day at the studio, we made a feast that showcased an entirely prepared rabbit.
Biggest Surprise: I was surprised by the garden we visited during one of our day trips. After being surrounded by concrete on the main island of Venice, we arrived at this incredible garden which housed enormous trees, winding paths, and a maze made out of hedges!
Greatest Challenge: It was challenging to travel inside and outside of Venice. It is a long walk to school every morning and to the Venice nightlife. Also, you are on an island! It can be difficult to plan getaways when trains only leave Venice at certain times.
Experience with culture shock or reverse culture shock: The style in Venice is very high fashion. Americans quickly stand out. The men are also extremely forward and will stop any American girl on the street. The women are quite unapproachable and I would not expect to converse with them very easily.
What I wish I knew before I left: I wish I had packed my carry-on luggage with a couple of extra clothes and essentials. My luggage was lost for a week when I arrived in Venice and I had nothing but the clothes on my back and the contents of my purse!
Advice to Future Study Abroad Participants: I would highly suggest getting into Europe early and traveling for a week or two before arriving in Venice. There is very little time to travel during the few weeks you are there. You are tied to the studio for your schoolwork. I would also suggest bringing your laptop. There is reliable, free wireless Internet in the apartments. Bringing a couple of DVDs is a good idea as well.