The Simple Joys of Friendship: Living Abroad in Florence, Italy

Florence, Italy

This is a huge mistake. My mind was racing with disastrous scenarios as I approached my gate. Looking around, I saw two other students sitting in the waiting area. Great, I thought to myself, the three losers who arrive too early and I’m one of them. In my haste to get to JFK, I had given myself too much time, and now I would be stuck waiting in this terminal for hours. I sat down on the small, springy airport chair and looked at the girl sitting across from me. She had long, straight brown hair, a huge Louis Vuitton bag and a silver knuckle ring on her middle fingers. She was reading A Room With A View; our study abroad assigned reading intended to prepare us for life in Florence. I had gotten as far as the first chapter before I tossed it aside and declared it useless. How was a book written in the fifties supposed to prepare me for modern-day Italy?

Typical NYU ideology.

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One Day in Florence

View of Florence skyline

Perhaps one of the top tourist destinations in the world, Florence, Italy has a hidden charm just waiting to be discovered. While many visitors feel overwhelmed by the vast amount of art, history, food and architectural sights, the key to enjoying this city is a mixture of flavor, observation, and relaxation. Take your time to see the classic sights, but allow yourself the opportunity to sit in a café and take in the true Florentine experience. La Dolce Vita is not just for the Italian born.

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How I Learned to Snowshoe in the Swiss Alps

I am sweating. Opening my eyes, I realize that my air conditioner is off. Throwing myself out of bed, I walk over to the window and switch it back on. Ah… the cool breeze hits my face and I instantly feel better.

Pulling back my curtains, I can see that the day has already started. I head towards the kitchen to brew some tea. As I sort through the different tea boxes in my cabinet, my hand knocks against a tin container in the back. Pulling it out of the cabinet, I see snow covered mountains and the words Interlaken written across it. I had bought this tin of chocolates while vacationing in Switzerland and had forgotten all about them. As I stare at the mountains etched on the tin of truffles, I start to remember my own adventure on those very same Alps.

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How to make the most of your study abroad trip

How to make the most of your Study Abroad trip:

me on a gondola in Venice, during Carnival

When I headed off for my study abroad trip to Florence, Italy I had no idea what to expect. All I knew was that I wanted to have an experience I would never forget! During my five months in Europe I traveled to seven different countries, made friends with locals, learned to flirt in Italian and ate about ten tons of spaghetti.

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The Art of Gelato

I have always been a fan of ice cream. As a child, my ears would perk up at the sound of that familiar bell and I would race down the street, trying to catch the ice cream truck. It became a family tradition every weekend to go for an ice cream run and eat it on the porch during those lazy summer days. As I grew older, the local ice cream shop in town became a fun hangout with my friends where we loved to check out the cute new guy behind the register. It was a sweet, sticky constant and one that I knew I would always love. Until, that is I moved to Italy and discovered the joys of Gelato.

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Study Abroad Italy: Train Misadventures

During my six months living in Florence, Italy I learned the joys of riding a train. Unlike the homeless filled subways of New York, the Eurostar, (and its cheaper equivalents) was a pleasant experience with large windows, clean seats and usually a small café on board. Although I was always eager to reach my final destination, I began to enjoy the ride through the Italian countryside as a trip of its own. I saw small villages with herds of sheep being shepherded into a pen, and beautiful valleys filled with flowers. It was a peaceful experience and each time I returned from a trip, I eagerly looked forward to the next time.

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