A Day in Florence

I had class Monday through Thursday from 9:00am to 1:20pm. My roommates and I would wake up every morning and walk to school together. Our school was on the other side of the city, so we were able to walk over the Ponte Vecchio every day and experience that view. Something I loved about studying abroad through the AIFS program was that they offered breakfast and dinner vouchers that could be redeemed at various local cafes and restaurants. These vouchers lasted me the entirety of my stay, so I was able to save money on food.

Home Sweet Home by the Duomo

The housing for my specific program was all apartments. My program leaders saw it as a way to fully immerse us into the culture and lifestyle of Italy, so we lived in apartments all across Florence. I had 7 roommates, which was the most that one could have. At first this overwhelmed me, as I had never lived with a roommate before—much less 7 strangers. When we arrived in Florence, we stayed at a hotel the first night while our apartments were being prepared for our arrival. It was there that I met 2 of my eventual roommates, and we instantly got along very well.

Classroom Italian Edition

I decided to take a painting course while studying abroad in Florence, Italy. I have always been interested in creating art, but I never felt like I had the opportunity to pursue it. My class was small—less than 20 students—and we were all on an introductory level. On the first day, the professor took us out of the studio and into the city to buy our own art supplies. While it is typical to purchase your own textbooks in college classes, it was a new experience to go out with my classmates and buy what we needed for the class; it almost felt like a field trip.

An Enlightening Experience

At the end of sophomore year, I started to feel like I had an idea of what I wanted to do after college. I had already decided my major was Economics, and I was taking Latin American Studies classes to fulfill requirements for my certificate by freshman year. Yet, sophomore year was crucial because I found a way to complement the things I was learning, and I developed a strong interest for economics in developing countries and the role international organizations play in this field.

Learning to Adapt

Looking back at my experience in Chile, I feel like I usually remember many of the big events, like experiences I did not expect to have. Some of those unforgettable experiences are when I hiked up part of a 9000 ft volcano (Villarica), or when I saw some of the most beautiful sunsets I have seen in my life. I can say these events helped me view life differently, to view it more simply and less worrisome. But, I think remembering them sometimes can overshadow the small, yet meaningful things about my study abroad experience, such as the challenges I faced.

Similar but New Foods

I love traveling for many reasons, but one that is instantly exciting is trying new food because I am not a picky eater. In my house, my family and I eat a lot of Colombian dishes that have traditional ingredients like beans, rice, and plantains, which are also very commonly found in places like Mexico or Puerto Rico. But Latin America is a very diverse region, and I knew before going to Chile that what a lot of countries in Central America or the northern part of South America eat was probably very different from what countries in the southern parts of South America eat.

An American in London

Studying abroad taught me a million and one lessons, ones I didn’t even know I needed to know. From traveling on planes, trains, and automobiles, to celebrating home country’s holidays, to breaking down language barriers in non-english-speaking countries, I believe there is no better way to catalyze one’s global competency than studying abroad. However, because there is so much to learn and explore, no one can ever be fully prepared for what they’re getting into. And I am no exception. 

Life Across the Pond (And Over the Thames)

Hello readers! I am so excited to be writing to you from across the pond in London, England! To start with a little about myself, my name is Hailey Hunter. I’m a rising senior marketing major with certificates in business analytics, leadership & ethics, and public & professional writing. This summer I will be blogging from the Global Business Institute London program, where I will spend 6 weeks with CAPA, The Global Education Network.

Cheers Londoners!

My study abroad experience was different than most students in that I did not attend a university in my home country but studied at a global education network comprised of all American students. CAPA offered me several opportunities that I am extremely grateful for, the most being I had a homebase full of familiar faces in an unknown place. Being my first time abroad, I found that extremely beneficial.

Everyday is A New Day

The best thing about Engineering the German Way Program was that everyday was completely different and exciting. Every morning we would get up early and either cook breakfast or walk to the bakery close to our hotel to pick up croissants and pretzels and other delicious pastries. Munich also had the most delicious orange juice I have ever tasted, and I craved it every morning. During the week our class schedule was different every day, but we would usually start class at 9am.