We asked SAI alumna Jessica to tell us about her SAI Moment, a defining moment in her study abroad experience.
My SAI moment was the moment I stopped leaving Florence! When I arrived in Florence, I was shocked to learn that my peers had been planning trips long before the semester began. I felt like I was rushed to schedule trips to other countries, so I did. I booked several trips that took me to Croatia, Morocco, and small cities within Italy.
But there was a moment when I realized that I had not taken the time to learn about Florence. Every weekend I traveled, and I didn’t spent the time investing in the experience of truly living in Florence. Leaving the city every weekend was also extremely exhausting.
So about half way through the semester, I said to myself, “I am not traveling anymore. I will stay in Florence and get into a routine.”
That was when I allowed myself to fall in love with the city. I got a membership to a yoga studio and practiced a few times every week. I loved the experience at It’s Yoga Firenze because the classes were taught in Italian and I can say that it is the most challenging studio I have practiced in.
My personality is happiest with patterns. I would get coffee before classes and stop by the grocery store on my way home. I began cooking, something that I rarely do at home. On the weekends I did my school work and tried to do one “florentine” thing a day like go to a new park, church, or museum. I went to all sorts of unique places.
It was a chance for me to spend a lot of time by myself and with Florence. If I had continued to travel I would not have become a local, I would not have ventured off the beaten path, nor would I have experienced all that the city has to offer.
Jessica is an SAI Ambassador at Georgia State University. She studied abroad in SAI Florence in Fall 2016.