I’ve been studying abroad in Florence for four weeks now! It’s been super fun exploring the city and traveling around the country! Studying abroad has opened my eyes to the rich cultural heritage, artistic legacy, and vibrant atmosphere of Florence.
Through CAPA The Global Education Network, I am enrolled in two classes: Creative Writing and Urban Studies. My creative writing class takes trips to famous landmarks and historical sites around the city in order to complete writing assignments that correspond to them. So far, we’ve visited San Miniato al Monte, Cimitero delle Porte Sante, the Museum of Anthropology, and the Church of Santa Croce. In my urban studies class, we’ve been learning about the rich history and background of Florence. Occasionally, we take trips to various locations to observe the built environment, social interactions, and evidence of urban transformations. Compared to Pitt, the classes here are much smaller in size, allowing for more personalized interactions with both classmates and professors. Additionally, the classes are much longer and move at a quicker pace.
Inside the Church of Santa Croce
I live in an apartment with 9 other roommates in the city center. Our apartment has five bedrooms and four bathrooms, with a full kitchen and two common areas. I share both my bedroom and bathroom with two girls. I absolutely love living with so many other people – there’s always someone free to go shopping or get gelato with. There are numerous restaurants, boutiques, and gelato shops directly outside of my apartment and the area itself is always lively. It often gets busy and touristy, but it’s really convenient to be located so close to the CAPA Center, the Duomo, stores, libraries, and restaurants. It took a little bit of time, but now our apartment feels like home!
Some challenges I’ve encountered are language barriers and time constraints. Almost everyone in the city center speaks English, but reading the labels on items at the grocery store and pharmacy have been difficult. Attempting to balance school assignments, household tasks, and social events with traveling around the country has created a time management issue. I wouldn’t say I’ve experienced much culture shock, but hanging clothes on drying racks, eating dinners late at night, and sorting garbage into numerous categories have been interesting adjustments. However, these adjustments have provided me with valuable learning opportunities.
I’ve had an amazing four weeks and I can’t wait to see what my last two weeks have in store!