As this semester comes to a close and I write my last blog post before we go on winter break, I’ve realized just how quickly time has gone by and how much I’ve changed since coming here. Living in a new country, especially on an entirely new continent, made it possible for me to see the world in a different way and I know that my art style and perspective on design has certainly changed since coming here. Because we are so far away from our friends and family and can’t easily meet as many new people as we could have in New York, we have more time either in small groups or by ourselves and I know that I have been able to learn more about myself and develop as a person because of this. Honestly, the biggest and best change in my life that has come out of this semester is the amazing group of friends that I’ve made here and how we are all able to bond and have fun in any situation. As I said in my last post, I am sure that our friendships will last even after we leave Florence because we have experienced and learned so much together.
A second change that I’ve gone through is that my Italian has gotten so much better over these three short months! I honestly thought I wouldn’t be anywhere near as improved as I am now, but I understand quite a lot of Italian (even though I still get nervous to speak it in public sometimes). Immersion in a city that forces you to listen and speak in the community’s native language really helps it to sink in and I’m excited to see how much further I progress while taking the Italian 3 class in the spring semester.
Thirdly, I’ve experienced so much and my eyes have really been opened to the beauty of Florence and Italy in general. This has been made possible through classes, independent traveling, and the events arranged by FASA. Through my Renaissance Art History class alone, I have visited many of the greatest museums and churches in Florence and learned so much about renaissance art that I could even start to teach a class on it!
Independent trips are always fun for exploring (and eating tasty food) with friends and the FASA trips have truly given us wonderful opportunities. Just today, we went to the natural hot springs in Saturnia which, coupled with a long bus ride through the gorgeous Italian countryside and a delicious lunch, was an absolutely perfect day.
So, I just want to say to all you incoming students and anyone who studies in Florence in the future: you will meet wonderful, new friends, you will be able to communicate in Italian, and you will have absolutely unforgettable experiences. Don’t stress out too much about studying abroad because, once you get here and settle in, you will realize that you’ve found a new home away from home. You may be worried about living in a completely new country and being so far away from the people and places that you are used to but I can assure you that you will quickly get used to Florence and learn to love it here. Thank you for reading my posts up until now and I can’t wait to share everything with you during the spring semester!
Ci vediamo in gennaio!