Month #2 in Firenze

Thursday, October 27, 2016

I’ve now been a student Florentine for two months and one day, and the time couldn’t be going faster. This second month in Florence has been a lot of lesson learning. I’m learning more about my budget, thinking about what I need to do more of (exercise) and less of (eating gelato and not exercising), and figuring out balance. I have a better handle on classes especially now that midterms are over, but it is challenging to balance classes with exploring the city, traveling, and running errands, etc…

My Italian has gotten better, but I’m nowhere near fluent. I am proud of being able to order food at cafés and gelaterias in Italian. In Pisa, I told the woman working that I was American and studying in Florence in Italian, and I thought that was progress. It was nice being in Pisa because not as many people spoke English there, so it was full Italian immersion. If I had full Italian immersion, I’m sure I could pick up much more Italian. I’m working on it!

I feel much more comfortable in Florence because I have a much better sense of the city and where things are located. Two months ago I had no idea how to get from place a to place b. Now I do! I’ve given directions to people a few times. It’s moments like those when I feel like a real person living in Florence.

I had my first international travel experience for fall break (Ibiza, Spain) and am looking forward to my solo trip to Venice tomorrow. Traveling here on trains and planes is so common here, and it’s nice to experience it. I promised myself I wouldn’t do international travel until my second semester (aside from fall break), and I’m sticking to that promise. I don’t plan on traveling a lot in November, and I will be traveling a lot in December and January. I definitely have the train system figured out here and am taking advantage of the convenient train system.

I still haven’t experience severe feelings of homesickness. I miss the people back home, but I don’t wish I was living back home right now because it is so different and exciting here. I miss Emma Willard more than I thought I would. Emma will always be a part of me, and it’s the people and experiences there that prepared me for this year and the rest of my life.

I decided to sign up to volunteer at a local Italian school to help teach the young children English. I’m very excited to volunteer once a week on Fridays! More to come on that and it’s another way to add to my experience abroad. I’ve always liked spending time with kids.

My parents have officially booked their tickets, and I couldn’t be more excited for them to visit. We are going to explore Italy, Germany, and Greece together! My friend, Fayla, is also coming after finals for a week. We plan on meeting Juli in Rome for a couple days too!

Lots to look forward to. I can’t believe we’re a quarter of the way through the year. My goal for the next month is to really take advantage of opportunities in Florence and work more on my Italian. xo ~e.

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