Weekend Trip: Swiss Alps!

Hi everyone!! As promised, here are my photos from my weekend getaway to the Swiss Alps! Even though I’m not a fan of cold weather or winter sports.. I’m SO glad that I made the decision to go to Switzerland!! The views were incredible and these photos don’t do justice… every view was truly breath-taking! And serious thanks to Bus2Alps for making this trip so easy!!

{Interlaken, Switzerland}
{interior of Victoria Jungfrau Hotel & Spa}
{what I look like 75% of the time- camera in my face}
{view while taking a hike!}
{top of our hike- incredible view of one of the lakes in Interlaken}
{beautiful view of the town, walking down the trail}

{yummy lunch after hiking!}
{Girls & I literally on top of Europe!! – we were 11,782 ft above sea level @ ice palace!!}
{cute ice penguins}
{ice palace @ Jungfrau}
{leaving the Alps, will def be back!!}

If I hadn’t made the decision to study abroad, I would’ve never had the opportunity to go on these little weekend trips to the most beautiful places in the world!! It’s amazing how easy it is to travel in Europe, and how affordable it is as well! Optional activities in the Swiss Alps included sky diving, canyon jumping, paragliding, hiking, ice skating, going to the top of Europe, and etc.. all of course were an additional cost, but seriously the most incredible activities you could part take in, with the most incredible views. Ever.

Seriously, if you’re the slightest bit interested in studying abroad, I say, do it. It is a huge commitment to make and there are a lot you have to adjust to, but I promise it’ll be the best, life changing experience of your life!

And if you have any specific questions about living/studying abroad, email me!! I am more than willing to help :) – daisyo@gmail.com

What Does Your Professor Do?

In high school seeing your teacher outside of class is like finding out that the tooth fairy doesn’t exist- scratch that – It’s like finding out that the tooth fairy is really just a hairy fat guy in a tutu…. unpleasant.  “You mean teachers have lives?! They don’t sleep under the desks and eat chalk?”   “No, they are just like you and me, they eat sleep, go to movies and have lives. Sometimes you can even run into them on the street…. weird right?”
In college seeing your professor outside of school is actually pretty nice. My classmates and I were invited to the restaurant of our sewing and flat pattern Professor: La Terrazza Del Principe. The walk up to the restaurant is beautiful! Big houses, tons of greenery and the leaves that are falling off the trees turns it into a wonderland of color. When we got to the restaurant we were surprised. It looked like the food should have cost more but it was extremely reasonable considering the high-end atmosphere. She showed us around the restaurant and I was surprised to find a very nice wine cellar (where one can have a romantic candle lit dinner), and a beautiful view of Florence from the garden deck.
Our professor’s husband is from Sicily and made us some of the best Italian pasta I have had. One was a creamy white sauce with pistachios and the other was a red sauce with egg plant (Pasta alle Norma). The sun dried tomatoes were to die for! After dinner she brought out Tiramisu and I had some Almond Panna with chocolate. It was fun getting to eat some delicious food and it was even more fun seeing our professor run a top notch restaurant! Thank You F.I.T. in Florence!

Permesso Di Soggiorno

One of the wonderful undertakings that every study abroad student needs to undertake in when arriving in Florence is the acquisition of their Permesso Di Soggiorno (PDS) or “Permit of Stay”. While this can be a tedious and sometimes painfull process it is a necessary item for all foreign nationals to obtain upon arrival in Italy. Yesterday, after waiting for nearly two months for it to be ready, my PDS card was finally ready for pickup, concluding the PDS process.

The first step in me picking up my PDS card was a trip to the Questure building. This is the HQ for the State Police in Firenze and also contains the Ufficio di Immigrazione, which is the large room where you pick up your PDS.

When I arrived the next challenge was getting a ticket so that I could reserve a place in line to wait to see an agent to give me my PDS card. After asking
several security guards for what felt like twenty minutes, me and about five other confused students were finally directed to a booth where we received our tickets to wait for a PDS agent. My place in line was 226.

To my enjoyment, I found that me arriving a half-hour early to my appointment was rewarded. The agents were already on number 126 so there were only 100 other people ahead of me in line.
Finally, after waiting for 2 hours they finally called my number. I handed them my passport and my PDS receipt (obtained when you first apply for your PDS at the Questure), and was handed my card. The whole process took about 30 seconds. While examining my card, I was shocked at how much effort went into obtaining the little piece of plastic.

Line Place at Questure

Line Place 226 at Questure!

PDS Card Holder

PDS Card Holder

Hello Weekend!

I know it’s only Wednesday, but tomorrow is a national holiday in Italy! It’s Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception, which I’ve never heard of until this past week, but there’s no complaining when the weekend comes a few days early :) And this holiday is the perfect break from finals! Well for most of us, it just gives us more time to work on our final projects and prepare for exams. Which is exactly what a few of the IFD2 students (2nd yr fashion design), including myself, did today. Can’t say it’s how I prefer to spend my day off, but it’s definitely  relieving to get some work done and out of the way. Especially if you’re planning on going to the Swiss Alps for the next four days!!!! 😀
A few girls and I have planned a trip through Bus2Alps to spend our 4 day weekend in Switzerland! {Bus2Alps is a student traveling agency, that targets specifically towards foreign students, aka us! There are quite a few of these student travel agencies, but Bus2Alps and FlorenceForFun are what I would say the most reliable. Both travel agencies provide great deals for traveling which usually includes transportation, and a place to stay for a great cost! It’s also a great way to socialize and meet other study abroad students apart from those in your school program!}
And now that it’s December,winter sports seem appropriate and wheres a better place than the Swiss Alps!? Okay, I’ve never been, but I’m sure the scenery will be absolutely amazing! & I will definitely share some of my photos when I’m back :)

How we spent our day ‘off’ from school at school:

{Taylor hand stitching all those gathers}
{Brittany getting ready to sew her term garment!}
{Heather fitting her dress! Almost done ;)}
{a work in progress & Honey working hard}
{the bane of our existence till Friday, December 16th}

Cannot wait to see everyone’s finished garments! I know they’ll look amazing with all the talented girls in our class!! Hope everyone has a good rest of the week! And photos to come from Switzerland :)

When in Rome…

This weekend I decided to escape from Florence and take an exciting one night expedition to Rome. My trip started with a 9 AM train out of a chilly rainy Florence. Within two hours of travel south, the weather not only became completely clear but became about 10 degrees warmer, a good omen for the beginning of my vacation.

Upon arriving and checking into my hotel, I went out to explore the city. My first stop was the beautiful Trevi fountain which looked
especially beautiful by night. I then moved onto the Spanish Steps. While this was a beautiful site, it was absolutely packed with tourists. At the bottom of the steps were the amazing and elegant shops that were all decked out for Christmas. The amazing shopping ranged from Dolce and Gabbana, to Louis Vuitton, to Emporio Armani. I ended my evening with a late night trip to a
sushi restaurant, where after a long day of traveling and exploring, I promptly stuffed my face.

The next morning I awoke ready to explore before returning to Florence. My destination for the day was the Colosseum. This was an
amazing site. I was mostly shocked by its sheer size, as it was clearly visiblefrom several blocks away. After thoroughly traveling the site, I checked out of my hotel and took the bullet train back to Florence. I truly enjoyed my day trip to Rome and hope that next semester I can possibly take a longer trip to see more of the sites.