I have lived alone before, but doing so in another country away from my friends and family brings a whole new meaning to independence. I have to function completely self sufficiently. However, this new found freedom opens the door to many opportunities. I can choose to take a train to other parts of the country on the weekends, study in the beautiful rose garden here in Florence, or take time to reflect at lunch in a cafe. I also have the freedom to walk toward any direction and find random spots for food or vintage clothes or anything else I might have missed otherwise! The food here is incredible. I love traditional Italian pasta and gelato, but I also enjoy trying other kinds of food, like asian and mexican! I visited Cinque Terre recently and it was jaw droppingly beautiful. I swam with fish in the Italian Riviera and collected rocks and sand for my friends back home. My view from the water was indescribable. I ate great food and laughed with my new friends.
The streets are lined with rich historic buildings and landscapes with something new to learn around every corner. My walk to class is awe inspiring. I have several hobbies that are sustained well while I live here. When I am surrounded by philosophy, history, art, or literature on a daily basis, it inspires me to engage in those areas more frequently. Additionally, a lot of my classes align with these interests, allowing my classroom experience to extend beyond the four walls and into every street corner. Not to mention that during class time, some of my professors take us to relevant Museums or monuments to further engage us. Especially regarding learning Italian, I am using the language more than I ever had which helps me build on my prior knowledge. Whether it be in my Italian class every night or ordering lunch or simply overhearing a stranger’s conversation; being exposed to the language so often enriches my classroom learning, enabling me to engage 24/7.
I wouldn’t have thought to explore myself, with historical context I wouldn’t have had the access to otherwise. Made of Tuscany tour guides’ extensive knowledge and charming delivery are unrivaled compared to school sponsored tours I’ve also been on in the past. Opting for this experience is one of the most unregrettable things I chose to pursue on my study abroad journey and in my general life as well. For me, Florence represents a prioritization of myself and my growth. For me, Florence is a breathing piece of history that humbles me every day.
Click here to see our tour about learn Tuscan Cooking: https://www.madeoftuscany.it/learn-tuscan-cooking-and-dine-with-the-florentine-countess/