Entering into a country, whether you have been there before or not, is an exceptional moment. As over stimulating and overwhelming as those first moments may be, they are exceptional. Although my first moments in Italy were not when I entered Florence for my Study Abroad, I felt that same wave of awe and fascination mixed with over stimulation as I did when I entered Italy on my way to Venice by train.
My first five days in Florence were with my sister. This gave me a chance to acclimate myself to my new city with the comforts of family. We wandered, shopped and explored. We found our favorite gelato and a really good Tuscan restaurant. Our hotel was right near the Santa Maria Novella, which is right near the Duomo, which is right near the Piazza della Repubblica and Piazza Della Signoria, which is right near the Ponte Vecchio and the Arno. In short, Florence is small. Soon, I began to feel comfortable and oriented enough to start putting the map away.
The next big step—meeting the roommates. We were already friends on Facebook but hadn’t made any contact. Over the course of the check in day everyone arrived and we got to know each other while looking over the paperwork and filling out the roommate questionnaire. The next couple of days were slow and quiet. We had orientation; we unpacked; we ate good food; we wandered around our new city. Since I had spent more time in the city, I helped guide us around through the parts of the city that I had previously explored.
I am very excited for classes to start. While my sister was here we went through the big museums in town and got a preview for what I was going to be studying in my Art History classes this fall!
Kira – University of Colorado, Denver