This past week has been filled with firsts. My first week of classes, meeting new people, and even some first time food experiences. Reflecting on this week I have seen how much I am growing from this experience. This study abroad experience has pushed me way out of my comfort zone in every way possible.
Previously to coming abroad, I would have considered myself an introverted person, but coming to Florence has brought out the extrovert in me and I could not be happier about that. I have always wanted to feel confident going up to a stranger and starting a conversation, being here has helped me to begin to do so. In two of my classes I am not only the youngest student but also the only American student. This was extremely intimidating to me at first because not only do these other students have more experience than I do in my field of study but they also do not speak the same language as I do. I had to force myself to suck it up, get comfortable with being uncomfortable, and put myself out there. Sitting in a class filled with new faces can definitely be strange at first, but you have to remember to tell yourself that you are all in the same boat! I guarantee every other student in that classroom is just as nervous, if not more than you are. These experiences are just as new to the person sitting next to you in your Italian language, psychology, or art courses. Within the first week, I warmed up quickly and built relationships with my professors and fellow classmates which I am excited to see blossom throughout these next 3 plus months.
Thursday night the Lorenzo de’ Medici school hosted a welcome dinner for students, which was a great opportunity to meet some new people. My roommate Maggie and I arrived early, eager to make some new friends. Upon arrival we met a group of girls that we instantly clicked with, which made us feel right at home. The dinner was served buffet style so that students could easily socialize with one another. The energy at this event was complete happiness, you could see on everyone’s faces the pure joy they felt being here in Florence. A good amount of students stayed late to dance, drink wine, and build relationships with other students and professors. At the dinner I met a professor who teaches at the University of Hawaii and teaches a course here at LDM called “Freaks and Monsters”. After talking to this professor for a while I decided to switch in to her class because of how interesting it sounded and how evident it was that she has such a passion for teaching. The course is all about conspiracy theories within the Florentine churches. We will be going on field trips all around Florence and will see things in a different way that we would not have been aware of without this class.
This past week gave me the chance to explore Florence in more depth. Walking through the busy cobblestone streets has shown me so much beauty that this city has to offer. Everywhere you turn there is another artistic masterpiece. Every side street has something stunning to offer. This weekend was also a good time to explore some of what Florence’s nightlife has to offer. Nightlife here is very different from in the United States. Here, it is normal to go out around 1 am which is a lot to get used to but don’t get me wrong, lots of fun. In the next couple of weeks I have some exciting trips planned, one of which is to Barcelona where I will be meeting up with fellow MU Global Ambassadors! The upcoming week I have a wine tour planned in the breathtaking mountains of Tuscany which I am looking forward to.
Ciao for now!