Florence, Classes, and Food

After being here for a week now, my roommates and I are finally getting used to life in Italy. Of course we still have our challenges like trying to order dinner in a restaurant where no one speaks English, figuring out how to get back to our dorm at night, and leaning to balance schoolwork with the fun of living abroad. Classes only started yesterday but luckily, I’m not behind on homework yet.

Last week, we visited Florence for half the day mostly to do paperwork for immigration, but obviously, we couldn’t possibly leave without exploring a little bit. We split into groups and got a short tour of the city (I got to listen to our British dean talk for basically 90 minutes, so no complaints there). After, we spent an hour or so exploring on our own. We got gelato that was absolutely delicious, definitely somewhere I want to show the family.

While Florence was absolutely gorgeous and I can’t imagine living there for semester, I definitely want to go back and visit (and not just for the shopping). It’s so crowded all the time, and there are even more chances to get hit by cars or mopeds (although, I’ve had quite a few close calls in Prato).

Classes started yesterday and so far they all look interesting and will definitely be a different experience than taking the same courses in America. I’m just glad to finally have a set schedule and something to do during the day. 4 of my 5 professors are not American. My Composition and Literature prof grew up in London and kind of reminds me of Danny Devito (but not nearly as short) and he did the best Donald Trump impression I’ve seen so far.

In 2 weeks, I will be taking a trip to Ukraine with one of my classes. We will be looking at how WWII effected the western region of the nation. We will be visited and talked to by other professors and researchers.

I still have not had a bad meal. Of course I’ve found things that I like more than others and I am slowly figuring out the basics of what most restaurants will offer for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I know I need to get out and walk around more to work off all the past and bread I’ve been eating. It’s hard to get vegetables when you only know what “zucchini” is in Italian.

Slowly but surely, I am getting accustomed to living here. Strangers still give us weird looks when my friends and I are walking down the street speaking English. On Friday, we are talking a trip to a mall located outside Prato so hopefully I will be able to buy some things to blend in with the Italian fashion. Of course, my clothes will not be able to disguise my native language, but that’s probably as close to blending in as I will be able to get.

~Sarah Ann

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