Studying abroad is all about new experiences, big and small. Although the smaller day to day details may be forgotten over the course of time, there are a few memories that I will never forget. These moments were branded on my memory, and every time I think about them I can’t help but smile, or even laugh to myself. It was the little moments during my time abroad in Florence, Italy that made my experience what it was; unique and extraordinary. I wanted to share a few of my small, yet favorite memories during my time abroad! They may seem silly to an outsider, but they will give you some insight into the kind of significant experiences that changed my life, broadened my perspectives, and taught me lessons that I won’t soon be forgetting.
During my first month abroad, a few friends and I took a train to Cortona where my favorite movie “Under the Tuscan Sun” took place. We just happened to start up a conversation with a boy on our bus, who later on nonchalantly mentioned that he was in the movie when he was a kid. We watched the movie as soon as we got back to our apartment, and sure enough there he was! Star struck (kind of)!
Lesson Learned: Don’t be afraid to meet new people, you never know who you’ll end up next to on a bus!
My first weekend away, I traveled 14 hours on a bus to Prague in the Czech Republic. Was I ready for the 10 mile walk uphill to the top of Prague? Okay so maybe it wasn’t 10 miles, but it was definitely far and it was DEFINITELY uphill. Ruined my boots, froze my butt off, starved myself, and I would do it again 100 times over just to see this view. Also we got corn on the cob at the end, and it surely does not get any better than that.
Lesson Learned: Breathtaking scenery always makes up for the breathtaking/strenuous exercise. Being abroad is a good opportunity to push yourself. You might find that the rewards are worth it!
Anyone who knows me well, knows that I am a huge Beatles fan. Seeing the Lennon wall was breathtaking. John never even got to see the wall himself, but the graffiti was some of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen, both visually and meaning wise. Peace, Love, & Prague.
Lesson Learned: Beauty can be created and constantly changed, and anyone can be a part of it.
Lucerna is an 80s and 90s dance club in Prague. They play the music videos to all of the songs on a big screen all around you. It’s really easy to forget what country you’re in at this place. My best friend Kelly and I got completely lost in the music and the dancing; needless to say, neither of us had voices the next day (safe to say most of our other friends were happy about that!).
Lesson Learned: Let loose once in a while, it’s true what they say… you only live once!
There’s nothing better than a cheap, freshly made croissant or mini pizza after a long night of… studying. These bakeries are hard to find, and are only open in the wee hours of the night. Not your typical midnight snack, but probably the best you’ll ever have.
Lesson Learned: Don’t be afraid to explore even the smallest crevices of the city you study in!
This is only Part One, be sure to keep an eye out for Part Two!