CAPA and Pitt are similar, but also very different. CAPA is pretty laid back in general and I never feel stressed going to classes; just excited. Everyone is drinking cappuccinos and chatting outside in the lobby and we take many breaks throughout the classes to use the restroom, get something to drink, or check your phone. All of the staff members are extremely friendly and seem to really love getting to know the students who study at CAPA. They also really enjoy giving suggestions on things to do around the city and are never judgmental about any questions we might have. My professors are so well rounded as are most of the people I’ve gotten to know in Florence and it is so impressive how many things they are well-versed in. I have learned so much from them and established really good relationships with them that I hope last forever.
Pitt’s culture is a little different because the classes are very large and I do not feel close to my professors at all. Sometimes I get help if I am struggling in a class from the TA, but the student/professor relationships at big universities are rarely strong in my opinion. The classes are also a bit more intense at Pitt and I feel pressure to study up before classes in case I am called on rather than going in with a good mindset at CAPA and just going with the flow. I think both institutions could learn something from one another.
I love my new neighborhood so much. I live on a very prominent street with many restaurants, cafes, museums, shops, art exhibits, book stores, and more! Our apartment is so spacious and we can see the duomo right out of our bedroom windows. Most important landmarks are within super close quarters to our apartment and are never an extremely far walk. I live with six other roommates and share a room with two other girls and it has been a very positive experience. I really have loved getting to know them and I think sharing this special situation has made them some of my best friends even after only knowing them for a couple of weeks. It is sometimes overwhelming and our living styles have clashed a few times, but we all get along so well and have been thriving experiencing our days and doing weekend trips together. I am going to miss them so much once this program is over.