Friday, October 25, 2013

A Summer in Florence

While many students traveled home after finals last spring to see their families and start their summer jobs, I hopped on a plane to Florence, Italy to have arguably the best four weeks of my life. While the study abroad program was not specifically through Fordham, my dean, the department chairs, and the study abroad office were so all helpful and encouraging throughout my application process (even as only an incoming sophomore!). 

In Florence I took two 3-credit classes, one of which on the famous Italian poet Dante and the other on Cross-Cultural Psychology. Fordham accepted both classes for credit. The courses really integrated the history and culture of Florence into the classroom, which made the experience all the more worthwhile. Field trips included visiting the Baptistery where Dante was baptized, a multi-cultural middle school, an ex-asylum, and we even had a trip further out into Tuscany to Siena and San Gimignano. I also read Dante’s famous Inferno and conducted ethnographies on different cultural experiences in Italy like going to a pizzeria. 

But besides interesting classes, simply living in Florence was an amazing experience. I stayed in a four-bedroom apartment in the center of Florence with four other girls, who are now some of my best friends. We both grocery shopped and cooked, but most of the time went out to dinner and had authentic Italian pastas, sauces, meats, and gelato. We also travelled every weekend to different parts of Italy including to Rome, Pisa, Milan, Venice, and the Cinque Terre. Each city was beautifully unique but they all had one thing in common- amazing food. Some of the Italian foods I tried are buffalo mozzarella, veal scaloppini, duck, panna cotta, and of course brick oven pizza like no other. 

Studying abroad was such an eye opening and worthwhile experience for me that I intend on going abroad again for the fall semester next year. Fordham has its own business school in the heart of London where I can continue taking marketing classes for my major.  In addition, studying abroad at Fordham is not limited to one experience and is encouraged for all majors and to all classes. I was able to study abroad as an incoming sophomore and will soon have a whole new experience as a junior in London. I also plan on traveling to visit my other Fordham friends studying abroad that same semester in countries like Poland, Spain, and the Czech Republic. And who knows, I may just have to pop back to Florence just to taste the gelato again! 

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