Ciao, my fellow Tigers! It’s been about a month since we all landed in Italy with wide eyes and a thirst to explore! In the past couple weeks, my life has changed, in the best way possible! In short, I have moved to another country, found an apartment, made friends, started school, toured the whole of Florence and traveled to amazing places. Florence has blown all my expectations out of the water.
Initially, I was so nervous and anxious to fit in with the people who already had an established friend group but, as the universe has it… I made some great friends on the second day of being here!
Quick story: When my new roommate and I were looking for the restaurant, I saw a tall dome like building and thought it was the famous “Duomo” in Florence. It was probably ¼ the size of the real one and looking back I am so embarrassed for even thinking that! My advice to any student studying abroad: Never try to fit in with the people that are already friends… make your own and maybe even just stick to one other person that is open minded and willing to explore with you. You will have no issue meeting other people, as you will share most of your classes with the people in your major.
The next day was apartment-hunting day! My new friends and I decided to stick together and search for a new home! We all got along really well at orientation and were really anxious to move out of that hostel! LONG story short: The four of us had a tough day trying to find an apartment in a foreign country. The best way to describe it is the “GO-SEE” day in America’s Next Top Model. When the models have to run around a new country to find appointments and make impossible deadlines.. YUP that’s how it was. The last apartment we saw was a WINNER! All 4 of us walked in and screamed YES like the crazy Americans that we are. Whoever tells you finding an apartment abroad is a piece of cake is a liar. It is a ton of work but is very rewarding! Our apartment is everything I hoped for and MORE! My advice: I know that it can be nerve wrecking to come to another country without a place to live but trust me everything works out. FIT in Florence has a lot of connections and people who are willing to help with every step along the way.
The next few days were amazing. FIT in Florence organized a historic tour of Florence and I have fallen in love! One night, all of the FIT students went out for Aperitivo (which is basically Italian happy hour for FOOD instead of drinks) and then socialized all through the night. It was nice to get to know all the people in our program. Also the classrooms look like an art gallery.. It is unbelievable!
I can now say that studying abroad is the best decision that I have ever made.Quick Story: My roommate and I spontaneously decided to go to the Tuscan countryside for the day and saw the Leaning Tower of Pisa in real life and it was so exciting! It’s only bus ride away from Florence and totally worth it! Everyday is a new adventure here and I am obsessed with every inch of Florence. It feels surreal to be in this beautiful city and to see the Duomo on the way to class and to walk across the Ponte Vecchio everyday. I can’t wait to explore more. I’ve learned that sneakers or flat shoes are the way to go in Italy! The cobblestone streets don’t mesh well with high heels! But I’ll save my tips and ticks for another post!