I have been in Florence, Italy for just about six weeks now. Although some of the first couple of weeks were really difficult due to the adjustment period and feeling like I didn’t have time to accomplish anything, now time is starting to fly by and in two weeks, it will already be halfway over! I am studying with a program called ISA (International Studies Abroad) and I LOVE them! I would definitely recommend them to everybody and they have study abroad locations all over the world. The staff is amazing, both during the pre departure process and while abroad. Our staff here is amazing and our Resident Director is like a second mom. What is really great about ISA is that they plan excursions for you, that are included in the price of your tuition. For example, they took us to several tours around Florence, the opera, a cooking class, a soccer game and several locations throughout the Tuscan region of Italy. It’s something I didn’t realize would be such a big deal, until I met friends here that are with other schools/programs and they have to plan everything themselves.
So far, since being here, I have mostly just traveled throughout Italy. Besides Florence, I have been to Rome, Venice, Pisa, Assisi, Siena, San Gimignano. Arezzo and Cortona. I have also done a wine tasting at a Chianti castle in the Tuscan countryside and gone to the opera. Outside of Italy, I have been to Interlaken, Switzerland which was seriously the BEST weekend of my entire life! I went skydiving (I think that day will even surpass my wedding day) and night sledding. The food was incredible and the people were amazing. It is one of those trips that you just cannot physically put into words. The view was beyond beautiful and the entire weekend was completely life changing. I would go back there in a heartbeat…
School here has proved to be quite different then back home in the States. The weirdest thing for me is the fact that when school is out due to a holiday, they reschedule the classes! This means that if on Monday there was a holiday, your teacher would reschedule class to Friday or some people even have weekend classes. They also don’t allow you to have sick days, even with a note. It is very strict, and of course, I was thinking they would all be blow off classes. That isn’t quite so true.
I am lots of travels coming up including Prague, Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam, Amalfi Coast, Croatia, Cinque Terre and Ireland. I am really excited and becoming addicted to traveling!