Studying abroad in a foreign country with a new language is definitely a culture shock. I wish I could say that the transition has been easy, and I wasn’t yelled at for not weighing my own fruit, but I can’t. Week one has had a lot of learning moments, but I’ve just been leaning into it and staying positive.
- Can’t find a restaurant? You’re just exploring new streets.
- Can’t find salt anywhere? You’ll get to visit every local grocery store.
- Can’t find the metro? You’re getting your steps in.
We’re all in this together, so establishing friends has been quite easy. Everyone is eager to meet one another, eat at the local restaurants, and locate the nearest thrift shop. We’re all nervous about establishing friends when studying abroad. Still, I already have a few friends who help me navigate the city. In my apartment building, numerous activities were divided up by floor, allowing me to interact with neighbors just down the hall. I’ve also met people from other buildings and the CAs by participating in the IES Abroad field trips.
Speaking of field trips, I visited Lago Maggiore and Verona last Friday and Saturday. On Isola Madre, we took a boat to three botanical garden islands and wandered around. There were buildings to explore, restaurants, animals, castles, tons of nature, and more. It was beautiful and extremely sunny! The next day, we took the train to the cittá dell’amore and started with the history of wine, a wine tasting, and lunch filled with pizza, bread, cheese, and meats. We took a bus into the city’s heart and took a walking tour to the Arena, Old Rome, and Juliet’s Balcony. The architecture was incredible, with so many stores and historical structures. Although the two excursions were exhausting, I’m happy I could go. I also picked up some navigational skills that will come in handy for future ventures when using the subway and train stations.
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I am a Gender Studies student at Skidmore College :) I'm a graphic designer for Lunchbox, a lovely school magazine incorporating fashion, art, and writing. I also love to bullet journal, listen to music, take photos, create art, and dance!