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  • Broad New Horizons

    A first hand account of studying abroad in Florence, Italy

     Anxious and excited are the two best possible words to describe how I felt before taking off on a three-week long study abroad adventure in Florence, Italy. I’ve never traveled out of the country before, let alone traveled on my own, and I didn’t know what to expect. I was warned that I would experience some culture shock when I arrived at the airport in Florence. Alone, and with no knowledge of the Italian language, I became apprehensive. In a country where English is not the first language, it’s obviously difficult to communicate with those around you. Luckily for me, Florence is a huge tourist area, and many of its dwellers knew English. Once I arrived at my new residence and met my American roommates, I started to become more comfortable and eager for what was to come. 

    During the course of three weeks, I had the opportunity to meet new people and travel around the country. While I was able to enjoy the leisure of riding a gondola in Venice, and sunbathing on the turquoise beaches of Cinque Terre, I was there to study. Venice, Cinque Terre, Pisa, Livorno, and Siena were my many destinations, but Florence was my campus. During my time in the beautiful city, I took two classes. I learned how to sketch the ornate architecture of the city in a drawing class, and how to write for an audience of travelers in a travel writing class.

    Studying abroad is an experience like no other. In three weeks, I learned not only how to sketch and write, but by immersing myself into a country with a foreign language, culture, and people, I was able to learn independence, appreciation, and adaptability. Studying abroad was the most eye-opening experience of my life, and for anyone considering it, I highly suggest signing up for the trip of a lifetime.