Some of the other faces I’ve had the pleasure of being in the presence of are some of the most famous faces of the world. Most well known of these is probably Michelangelo’s David.
Posts from the ‘Florence’ Category
The streets are less of a pathway for transportation and more an integral part of the medieval history of Florence, connecting one piece of the city’s past to another.
Traveling the World and Finding Myself Along the Way: The 3 Biggest Things I’ve Learned while Studying Abroad in Italy
When I came to study abroad I came in with the mindset that it was such a great opportunity to see and travel the world. I never imagined that studying in Florence would teach me so much more about myself as it is doing. Here are the three biggest things I’ve learned since I’ve been here:
This past weekend I left the beautiful city of Florence to check out Germany. The weekend included traveling between 4 different cities, a 40 person hostel, 7 forms of public transportation, a castle, and last but not least a concert in Cologne, Germany.
1. Lifestyle Pace – In the states I feel like I’m always on the go. I feel like I’m perfectly scheduled from the time I wake up to the time I go to bed without ever stopping to relax. Here in Italy you take your time to do everything. Heck, there is a time from 2-4 PM called “Siesta”. Literally all you do is nap. And napping is one of my specialties. You won’t find anyone on the streets, and stores close down. It’s awesome. Point Italy.
My last week in Florence was ridiculously hard.
It wasn’t the five crushing finals threatening to drive me crazy by keeping me up until early in the morning studying for. It wasn’t packing up everything from the last five months into two airport approved suitcases in time to catch my 6am flight. It wasn’t the projects, presentations, and reviews that had to be completed before the 15th. It was hard saying goodbye to the city and the people I had formed this incredible bond with over the course of my study abroad program.
I sat on the bus to Florence nervously tapping my foot for the four hour bus ride. Would I like it? Would I feel safe? Would my apartment be OK? Would I like my roomies? Would I be able to find my classes? Would it be clean? Would I like it?
Most importantly: Would it feel like home? Read more
I thought I had it all figured out. I read the pre-departure packets, bought the Italy for Dummies book, and Googled the “Must-Do’s of Italy.” In my obsessive-compulsive-list-making mind, I thought I knew exactly what I would learn during my four-week stay in Florence.
How incredibly silly of me.
It all hit me after the trip, actually. I was cleaning out my desk and stumbled upon a manila folder with the three letters “ISA” scribbled across the top. As I picked it up, the complimentary “Firenze” book filled with images of the Duomo, the Blue Grato and good old David himself fell right into my lap.
But it was strange, when I looked a picture of the Duomo, I wasn’t thinking about its Gothic arches or golden doors. Instead, I remembered running circles around the darn thing, clutching my map and squinting my eyes in search of my apartment. And when I saw a picture of the Blue Grato, I wasn’t recalling the facts I learned from the tour guide; instead I remembered my heart racing as I faced my fears and jumped into its deep, salty water. On the next page was a picture of The David, but when I saw it I didn’t think of his finely chiseled abs of marble. Instead, I could taste the sweet cappuccino my new friends and I sipped at 7 a.m. as we braved the lines to enter the museum.
They tell you that studying abroad will allow you to experience a different culture, learn some history and maybe even pick up on some of the language. But what they don’t tell you is that studying abroad is one of the best ways to learn about yourself. I learned that I can depend on myself when I’m feeling lost. I can find the courage to take risks and try new things. I can put myself out there and make long-lasting friendships. So if you’re anything like me, go ahead and make your “Things I Want to Learn” list, but I can assure you that you’ll learn so much more than you can fit on that little piece of paper.