As an art history major, I always wanted to study abroad but thought the whole process would be too hard and expensive. I sat down with my very helpful international programs advisor and she gave me all the information I needed. I chose to go with CSU International Programs because it seemed like the best option. So far, I'm not disappointed!
Italy seemed to be the perfect place to gain knowledge and a new perspective on life.
It's hard to believe that I live in such a wonderful city. The Uffizi Gallery and other world-renowned sites are walking distance from my apartment. The terra cotta roofs make everything look so picturesque.
I was able to go up to the terraza of the Duomo of Florence for free. There are many days that celebrate religious figures, and people flock to places like this. It was a bit of a wait, but it was worth it.
You'd think that getting lost in Italy would be a bit scary without having mastered the language, but getting lost is just another aspect of living here. It has been the best way to experience the city.
The city is full of street artists performing typical Italian music. It may be mostly for tourists, but sitting down for dinner with live Italian music playing in the background just makes the food taste better.
Studying art history in the birthplace of the Renaissance has been an amazing experience! We rarely use books in class because we can just walk to local churches and museums to see many works of art in person. The city is our open book and teaches us so many things that we would not have been able to get from just reading a book.
The classes at the Study Center in Italy have been really great. I am taking a Museum Studies course taught by a curator at the Uffizi. We get to see special collections and go into exclusive sites that we wouldn't have been able to see otherwise.
This picture was taken inside the Vasari corridor, an escape route built especially for the Medici family to be able to go from one palace to the other without going outside. This passageway is not open to the general public, but our professor was able to give us a private tour.
The school plans many field trips to important cities around Italy. Siena is a wonderful city with awe-inspiring architecture, piazzas and works of art. The whole city is full of spirit and civic pride.
One of the most rewarding activities that I've chosen to participate in is volunteering with an Italian 5th grade English class. These students brighten up my Mondays and have made me realize that I really want to get my credentials and become a teacher. We help each other learn each other's languages.
Graffiti is prevalent around the city, however, there are many street artists who have made names for themselves. Their art shows up all over Italy and other places. Walking through the streets you can see how the old and new collide and show the life of past and present artists.
Of course traveling is big part of the study abroad experience. Day trips are great and pretty affordable, so if it's within your means, travel around. The program gives sufficient breaks to be able to take trips. Spain, France, Morocco, Ireland, Great Britain, Germany, and the Netherlands are just some of the countries students have visited this year so far. It's really easy to travel in Europe. Hostels and cheap flights are always readily available.
If you are thinking of studying abroad but are not entirely sure of how to do it, just ask! It's easier than you think. The experiences will last a lifetime. It may seem like a long journey, but you have to start somewhere.
Learn more about the study abroad program in Italy.