First few days in Florence!
Amelia, Florence, Spring 2020
February 24, 2020

I decided to study abroad with SAI because they offered many excursions and Florence seemed like a beautiful, wonderful city to study abroad in. Overall, I wasn’t very nervous about anything, besides the language barrier and being so far away from home. I have never learned the Italian language, so it will be all new to me. I’m from Maine but go to school in Florida, but this will be the farthest I have ever been from home.

new friends!

My roommates and I have been practicing Italian every day and we are slowly learning the basics. Since I don’t know any Italian, I’ve been practicing the most basic sayings, for without knowing the small things it can be very difficult or annoying ordering food or going to the grocery store. However, my friends and I have been exploring a lot and have been interacting with Italians, which is slowly helping us learn about their culture and language. Being so far away from home isn’t even a problem since I’ve been having so much fun and have already made such good friends.

learning Italian!

When I was driven into the city, I was amazed by how small the streets were and how close the buildings were. I look forward to experiencing all the city life has to offer and explore some amazing restaurants! Everyone I have met in Florence so far is extremely friendly and welcoming, which has been very helpful in making me feel more comfortable in a new country.

Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore

Now that I’m abroad, I can truly understand why everyone says it’s just an amazing experience. I’ve already learned a lot since I’ve been here and it’s been less than a week! It’s remarkable to see the difference between my culture and the Italians. There are many things that Italy and the United States have in common, but there are also things that are very different. It’s made me realize just how tremendously unique everyplace is and has made me wonder what other countries are like.

Amelia is a spring 2020 Florence student from the University of Tampa.

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About SAI

SAI is dedicated to providing academic and cultural learning experiences abroad that enhance global awareness, professional development and social responsibility. We concentrate our programs in Europe, with a focus on in-depth learning of individual European countries and their unique global role in the geopolitical economy, humanities, and in the arts.