Studying in Florence by Maria Shealy

My name is Maria Shealy and I’m a junior at the college. I’m majoring in English with a concentration in writing, rhetoric, and publication, and I’m minoring in Women’s and Gender Studies. I’m studying abroad in Florence, Italy as part of a College of Charleston faculty lead program. I chose this program because it was offering classes in my both my major and minor, and I knew it would be an incredible opportunity to travel, which is important to me. Florence is a beautiful city and what better way to go to school than do it in Italy. The goals I set for my time spent abroad were to learn what it’s like to live in a country that’s not my own, to learn basic conversational Italian, to try a food I normally wouldn’t, to befriend a local, and to travel to at least three other cities outside Florence. That I accomplished all of them, I’m very proud of. The research I did about my host country before I left was mostly about weather, local holidays, some of the best places to visit, where my apartment was and the hotel where classes would be held, a map of the city center to get a vague idea of where things were, general food cost, etc. I stuck to everyday living information because all the little things and forming a routine are what make up day to day life, so they felt most important.

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