What was your favorite class abroad and why?
My favorite class abroad was my modern art history class with Professor Lucia Giardino. She began a modern art class to allow another option of art history to be available to students and it was my favorite class while abroad. Many come to Florence to see the Renaissance art that is evident throughout the city but there is also a modern art scene in Florence as well. I believe Lucia did a wonderful job at coordinating field trips to art galleries and even a studio tour with an artist. I grew to know and love my Professor and this class as adventurous as well as educational.
What is your most memorable interaction with a local in your host city?
My most memorable interaction with the locals were by far the owner Nino and his employee Samantha of the Cafe or “Bar”, as it is referred to in Italy, that was located on the lower floor of my apartment building. I crossed paths with them almost everyday as I went to and from my apartment. Sometimes when I would get home when they were closing, Samantha would give me leftover pastries from that day. I would regularly talk with them and learn about who they were and where they were from. There was also an older man named Pietro who would sit at the bar everyday, listen to music, read the newspaper, and smoke. They were sweet people that I miss dearly.
What does your study abroad experience mean to you?
My study abroad experience means so many things to me. First of all, I am proud of myself. No matter how many times I felt lost or defeated I had people around me that helped me through, especially SAI staff. It also helps me feel more confident going new places and being able to find my way around. Lastly, I am grateful because I know I wouldn’t be the person I would be right now if I hadn’t gone abroad.
What has your experience taught you about the world?My experiences have taught me a lot of different things about the world. I now truly see the shortcomings of my own country based upon looking at it from the outside. I realize being comfortable, especially in your surroundings, can kind of be a crutch when you are trying to experience new things. Lastly, I have also learned both positive and negative things about the countries I have visited and still maintain a respect for their culture.
Sarah was an SAI Florence spring 2018 student from Carroll University.