According to a countdown on Google, there are 19 days, 4 hours, 49 minutes and 5 seconds until I begin my journey to the land of pizza, pasta and gelato, otherwise known as Italy. Earlier I had considered packing my suitcase, but then remembered that I still need my clothes and other belongings, and still have a while to go until August 28th. Needless to say, I am beyond excited to study abroad in Siena, Italy. My infatuation with Italy began summer going into my freshman year at Sewanee. I had taken Spanish for about five years, and didn’t wish to continue it any longer, but knew that I had a language requirement to fill. In high school I had taken an art history class and loved the Medieval Italian section, and knew that I loved Italian food (in case my opening sentence didn’t provide evidence for this already), so I decided to try my hand at this new language that supposedly had 13 tenses and was introduced to me as “being nearly impossible to master”. I quickly fell in love with the way words sounded, and how passionate my professoressa was about the culture and language. I even fell in love with the grammar and sentence structure of the lessons. After my first 50 minute class, I knew that I wanted to pursue an Italian Studies minor, and one day visit Italy.
During the spring of Sophomore year, I began seriously thinking about studying abroad, and where I wanted to go. Unlike most of my peers, I knew that I wanted to study abroad in the fall, as opposed to the spring, because I knew that I didn’t want to miss Sewanee’s Greek rush, which occurs in January. I was torn between doing an Italian program to complete my minor, or doing a program which would focus on psychology, my major. In the end I chose to go to Italy because Sewanee offers and abundance of psychology courses, while the Italian ones are much more limited (I have already taken 8 Italian courses in 4 semesters, and am nearing the end of offered classes). I knew that I wanted an IES Abroad program because a handful of my sorority sisters highly recommended it. My final, and most important, dilemma was choosing which incredible city to reside in. For some reason I had this idea in my head that I would study in Venice, and would spend my days reading Dante while floating in a gondola. I soon realized that this was not a realistic fantasy. In the end, it came down to Milan and Siena. Without really thinking, I chose Milan, and then two days later emailed IES Abroad teary-eyed begging them to place me in Siena. I knew that I wanted to get the authentic Italian feel; I wanted to walk around cobblestone streets, go to markets, practice my bartering abilities in a foreign tongue, and become a well-known resident of the smaller village. I knew that I did not want to be in a large city where English was the norm, and high rises obstructed the views of surrounding countryside. IES Abroad thankfully heard my pleas, and quickly changed my application to Siena. Within a few weeks, I got the email that I had been waiting for: Congratulations! You have been admitted to our Siena- Study in Tuscany Program.
There are now 19 days, 4 hours, 28 minutes and 41 seconds until my trip begins, and excited is an understatement for how I feel. Augurami buona fortuna!
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<p>I am a current junior majoring in Psychology and minoring in Italian at Sewanee: The University of the South. I am a proud member of Kappa Delta sorority, and am a coxswain for Sewanee's crew team. In my free time, I enjoy kayaking, reading, going for runs, and playing with my dogs.</p>