We are now past the halfway point of my study abroad experience, and time is moving very quickly. Classes have taking place Monday through Thursday and it was an adjustment getting used to my new learning environment.
Compared to my normal campus and courses at the University of Pittsburgh, the CEA-CAPA campus is a tucked away gem within the city of Florence. Within the building itself, there are families that reside there as well as a beautiful small piazza. I remember walking into the building for class for the first time and being shocked by the architecture of the building as well as the statues within the CEA-CAPA building. As far as the courses I am taking, I am used to 40+ person lectures within the business school at Pitt, the number of students within my classes are very small which makes myself and my peers engage with the professor more which I enjoy.
As far as city culture, Florence is a thriving city with thousands of tourists that come to city its beauty daily. Compared to the states, Florence is a very relaxed city where people enjoy their coffees and cornettos in the morning, their white wine with lunch, and aperitivos before and after dinner. The biggest culture shock I had was the number of people who walk within the road and not on the sidewalks.
My living situation in Florence is extremely nice. I and my three other roommates are about a 30-minute walk from the city center as well as the CEA-CAPA center. This allows us to experience an authentic neighborhood with locals compared to being surrounded by tourist. We are in an apartment that has all the amenities you would ever need. I would say the transition of moving into my new 6-week home has been seamless. My roommates and I get along very well and often spend our nights within our living room, recapping our days and doing homework. I chose the random option while selecting which living situation I wanted, and I could not be more thankful with the roommates I have received. It took some time to adjust to a couple of things within the apartment itself. With it being summertime, the weather is hot most of the days here in Florence. Our apartment does not have air conditioning and it becomes very hot within our apartment. This was easily resolved by opening our windows and buying mosquito traps to repel them.
Overall, I have zero complaints with my experience abroad and I am excited to keep living within a new city!