Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Florence, Italy, *Nora Boyd*

- I met amazing people, both in Florence and in my program. With a scholl-run program like mine, it's easy to assume it will feel like summer camp or boarding school, with name games and all the embarrassing stuff, but the people I met who were cool and were in Italy for the right reasons: to see some more of the world, to become familiar with a new city, to eat good food, to take advantage of classes abroad, and to travel.

- Italy is not so much the huge culture shock that one could find in other parts of the world, as in Asia, Africa, or South America, but it is definitely an experience! It's important to be flexible, and to try to understand the other culture. On the good side, for example, if there is an old lady cutting you in line at the grocery store, it is totally appropriate to cut her back, and it's considered part of the culture.

- Traveling is fun and more convenient for us while we're in Europe already, but it's nice to spend some weekend exploring the city you're in. Going every weekend to Berlin and Paris and Madrid and Amsterdam (and I actually know people who did this) is exciting, but it's totally exhausting and it gets extremely expensive. I tried to focus on getting to know Florence and traveling within Italy, and only went to different countries during Spring Break and Easter break when I had more time.

- Try every food! Italy is not really a place where you can find the weirdest food, but stomach and liver was not something I was eating all the time at home. I did try it. It doesn't mean I liked it. But I did decided I liked anchovies and fennel, and that was a step forward. On a related note, I really enjoyed cooking for myself, because produce is cheaper than in the US and so much fresher than in New York. It's interesting to see how grocery stores work in other countries, and it gets you more familiar with the kinds of foods people actually eat there (and it's less expensive than going out all the time).


  1. i love reading this article so beautiful!!great job!
    what to see in florence

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