Going with the Flo(rence)!

Studying abroad in Florence Italy has already proved to be a one of a kind experience, granting me the opportunity to immerse myself in Italian art, culture and cuisine.  Florence captivated me from the minute I arrived. The first couple weeks living in Florence, every sentence I spoke started with the word “wow” or “omg”, and I’d be lying if I said that I’ve stopped. I am so grateful to say that the long cobblestone paths filled with vibrant marketplaces, restaurants, and history at every turn, has quickly become my new home. 

 I would probably say my favorite part of the experience so far has been the opportunity to immerse myself in Italian cuisine. Whether it has been enjoying delicious gelato from a gelateria or being taught how to make handmade pasta by an Italian chef as a part of orientation,  it has only deepened my appreciation and love for Italian cuisine.  One of the most incredible things about Italian cuisine is not just the quality of the food, but the experiences that accompany it.  Exploring different local restaurants and cafes has allowed me to meet many locals who wish to share their knowledge and love for their city with you. Getting the perspective of both fellow diners or the restaurant owners themselves, has been an incredible way to learn more about the cuisine and culture of Florence. 

Of course, studying abroad has not been without its obstacles. Navigating cultural norms, a new city, and school took time and patience and has only strengthened me as an individual and a student. Each hurdle has taught me great lessons about flexibility and change. Through stepping out of my comfort zone, I have been able to develop new friendships, and gain confidence in my own resilience. With the help of my teachers, new friends, and Salve, I’ve learned to accept the unexpected and approach every situation with a fresh perspective, open mind, and enthusiasm.   

As I get further into my study abroad experience, I find myself filled with so much gratitude for being able to have this once in a lifetime opportunity. I’ve learned to embrace the value in appreciating each moment and experience while studying abroad. 

Rylie D is studying Psychology and Studio Art at Lorenzo de Medici through the API program.

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