Study Abroad Week 6 - Weekend in Lake Como!

Victoria Pembroke
November 8, 2021

Sono passate sei settimane da quando sono stato all'estero. Yes, that’s right, I’m basically fluent in Italian now. Not really, and I’m sure most people reading this aren’t either, so let me translate for both of us: It has been six weeks now since I’ve been abroad! For any newcomers, I’m posting weekly updates on what I did while studying abroad each day and any new self-discoveries/reflection points I may have. So… here’s the run-down on my sixth week abroad:

Monday, 10/4/21: Today I started off my day by waking up early and going for a 3 mile run to get a smoothie bowl. A little pain to get a little reward, if you will. I then took the metro back home to Collegio, showered, got ready for the day, and then went grocery shopping before heading to my history class at 4:50pm. I then spent the night at Collegio, ate dinner there, and caught up on some homework.

Tuesday, 10/5/21: Today I went to my two morning classes: Italian and Managing Fashion & Luxury Brands, then headed to a nearby cafe that served a lot of classic American dishes that I had really been missing! The place was called California Bakery and I enjoyed some avocado toast with poached eggs and homefries as well as a coffee for lunch before heading to a student lounge in the IES Abroad Center to catch up on some blogging and journaling before my finance class at 2:55pm. Afterwards, I worked out in the afternoon back at Collegio, ate dinner there, and spent the night in, watching some Gilmore Girls :)

Wednesday, 10/6/21: Today I slept in a little then went for a run on the soccer field outside at Collegio. I then showered, got ready for the day, and headed to the IES Abroad Center to finish up some history homework and print it out before my class at 4:50pm. I then ate dinner at Collegio and spent the night cleaning up my room and packing for my weekend trip to Lake Como which I was leaving for tomorrow!

Thursday, 10/7/21: This morning I finished up some Italian homework early before heading to the class at 9am and then going to my fashion class at 10:55pm. Afterwards, I returned to Collegio to make myself a quick lunch before getting all of my things together and bringing them with me to my finance class. After class, I went straight to the Milano Centrale train station to meet my friend studying abroad in Florence, and then took a quick 40 minute train with her to Lake Como where we grabbed some aperitivos and then took a ferry to Bellagio. In Bellagio, we met our other two friends from college at our AirBnB for the weekend. This was an especially exciting trip because, while two of my friends with me were studying abroad in Florence and Vienna, one of them wasn’t studying abroad at all and had flown all the way from Boston to visit us for the weekend and stay with our friend in Florence for the next 10 days! We had a great time catching up at the AirBnB, and then went out for a late dinner and some drinks in Bellagio.

Friday, 10/8/21: Well, my friend who flew from Boston was (understandably) very jet-lagged this morning, so she slept in until about noon while the other three of us went to grab some brunch and then brought her back some. We then walked around Bellagio to explore the town and take some cute pictures, picked up some rose, prosecco, and snacks to bring back to the AirBnB, and then got ready to go on a private 2-hour long boat tour on Lake Como, which definitely did NOT disappoint. Our boat tour guide was amazing at showing us all the best spots on the lake and telling us about their history, and the four of us also went through 2 bottles of complimentary prosecco on the tour! After leaving the boat (along with a hefty, well-deserved tip to our tour guide), we got dinner back in Bellagio, spent the night out, and then came back later to drink some wine and play cards together in the AirBnB.

Saturday, 10/9/21: This morning we all grabbed some coffee and croissants at a close cafe for breakfast, then walked around Bellagio a little, exploring some more sites and shops. We had lunch at The Point before returning back to the AirBnB to relax and hang out. We then started drinking together at the AirBnB and got ready to go out for the night. We enjoyed a great dinner out and had some cocktails afterwards at a really fun bar with live music.

Sunday, 10/10/21: We all woke up in quite a rush this morning as we had to quickly get ready and get all of our stuff together for a check-out time of 10am. We then headed to get breakfast down by the water and waited there for our ferry rides back to the town of Como. From there, I took the train back to Milano Centrale, grabbed a panini from a kiosk, and spent the rest of the night at Collegio, unpacking and relaxing from my long weekend of travel and excitement!

This week was one where I really started overthinking a lot of unnecessary things: from my appearance to how I was spending my time abroad. I won’t lie, while the week might have sounded like it was full of sunshine and rainbows, I was actually internally struggling a lot, worried that I was beginning to gain weight while abroad what with all the amazing food here, and then also feeling guilty that I was spending most of my weekdays in, relaxing and studying rather than enjoying my time out in the city with my Milan abroad friends while I still can. But, I was able to realize these thoughts this week and truly reflect on them, appreciating them as just moments of overthinking and not truly reflections of my actual thoughts and experiences while studying abroad here. I reminded myself that I look good no matter what, and even still, if I’m worried about putting weight on while abroad, all I have to do is take care of myself and do some workouts here and there, and just make sure I’m getting enough protein and nutrients in my diet other then straight carbs, and that’s exactly what I did this week to take care of myself! I also reminded myself that I’m being plenty social each day with my friends I made here as I walk with them to and from class, have dinners with them, and are often seeing them on the weekends (although this weekend I spent with my friends from home, so I speculate that that is where some of my worry was stemming from). But even then, I’m travelling a lot every weekend while still trying to prioritize my mental health and studies, so I continue to remind myself that it’s completely fine to stay in some weekdays to not only relax and save money, but to also recover from the amount of travel and social/cultural stimutlation I’m putting myself through on the weekends! Overall, while I did struggle with some overthinking this week, I still had a great and productive week, finishing it off with really quality time with friends in Lake Como. This week I also learned a lot about myself, my thoughts, and the importance of reflecting on those thoughts and bettering them!

And yes, sorry, we DID take a lot of photos, but I mean c'mon, just look at them! You can't not photograph Lake Como's beauty.

Victoria Pembroke

<p>I'm Tori and I'm from North Bennington, Vermont USA. I'm currently a third-year student at Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts studying Finance with minors in Spanish and Information Design and Corporate Communication. At Bentley, I'm treasurer of the Ski and Snowboard Club, Scholarship Chair of Phi Sigma Sigma Sorority, and a member of the Women's Leadership Program, Bentley Literary Society, and Habitat for Humanity. After graduating Bentley I hope to work in corporate finance or investor relations for a few years before eventually following my life-long passion of starting my own fashion brand! I'm therefore so excited to study abroad with IES Abroad in Milan through their Business Studies and Internship program because I'll not only be able to grow as an individual, meet so many new people, and experience an entirely new culture/see new places, but I'll also be able to have hands-on experience in this huge financial district and fashion capital of the world! In my free time I love to alpine ski, read &amp; write, explore new restaurants and visit Boston, have fun with friends, and of course, shop!</p>

Destination:
Term:
2021 Fall
Home university:
Bentley University
Hometown:
North Bennington, VT
Major:
Finance
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