Recently we caught up with SAI Ambassador Holly, who studied abroad in Florence during the Fall 2017 semester. In this blog entry, she answers some questions describing her time in Florence.
1. What was your favorite thing to do in your host city?
One of my favorite things to do was to just walk around the city and explore new areas. Even in a small city such as Florence there is so much to discover. I loved stumbling upon new cafes, vintage shops, and best of all, gelato places!
2. What travel tips would you give someone studying abroad?
It may be tempting to book through student travel companies such as Bus2Alps and SmartTrip but please, please book trips on your own!!! I enjoyed the trips I booked on my own a lot more than the trips I did with the student travel companies. They do take the stress out of logistics and finding things to do, but I think that is apart of the whole experience of traveling on your own.
3. Do you have any tips for learning the language while students are abroad?
This is by far one of my biggest regrets from studying abroad –not learning the language. Please try to learn the language as much as you can! My advice would be to download Duolingo before you go to get your feet wet. Don’t be shy, engage with locals and try to speak the language. It’s okay if you’re not right, they appreciate the effort.
4. What advice do you have for new study abroad students?
Culture shock is real! It’s okay if you’re totally freaked out the first week and feeling a little off. It takes time to get adjusted, but before you know it, your city will feel like home. My advice would be to relax, breathe, keep in touch with family and friends from back home and take everything as it comes.
–Holly was a fall 2017 SAI Florence student from Lasell College. She is an SAI Ambassador.