From Strange to Sweet
Margaret, Florence, Spring 2019
February 21, 2019

I have always been a homebody. I make a place for myself, and I become content staying in my zone for every activity. In order to gain personal growth, I thought it was time to do the complete opposite of my norm. I signed up to study abroad through SAI, and to live in Florence, Italy for a semester. I have never been out of the country, and I expected anxiety and discomfort upon my arrival to my new home, with my four new roommates.

A built in library filled with old books and magazines leftover from a previous owner who was a scientist.

I never expected to experience a quaint apartment, with antiquity that warmed my heart, and four new amazing friends. Every single part of my experience so far seems as if it was completely planned by someone who was an expert on me. I was lucky to be selected to live in an apartment with its own built in library, with so many choices of books and reading materials, allowing me to have a zone that makes me feel studious. As I move throughout my home, not a moment goes by where I don’t get taken away by the beauty of our very Florence apartment. The stairs will take some getting used to, but it allows me to enjoy more gelato and pizza!

With all the stairs in this apartment, there is no need to join a gym!

Most importantly, I was matched up with four amazing women to be my roommates. All of which have artistic abilities, and have an understanding of the hard work it takes to be a studio artist. I no longer feel as if I need to be shut myself in my room making my art projects, I now can have four intelligent art critics to encourage me to work freely. It’s almost as if SAI knew each one of us personally, and was able to predict our friendship from miles away. I couldn’t be any happier with my apartment or my roommates, which give me a very solid foundation to have a great semester abroad.

 

Our living room has become the homework hut.

 

The perfect roommates.

Margaret is a spring 2019 SAI Florence student from the University of Kentucky.

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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.