Day in the Life of a Study Abroad Student

I thought I’d share a little bit about my school day…granted, the school day I’m about to share was a little more exciting than a typical day.

In the morning, I got up and ate an early lunch. My day was going to be packed and there was no way I was going to make it through to 5:30pm without eating. I didn’t want to eat lunch at 10:30am; I had to eat lunch at 10:30am.

One of the main corridors of the Uffizi Gallery.

The reason for my unreasonably early lunch was a morning visit to the Uffizi. Two days earlier, I cried at the sight of Uffizi offices. No, I didn’t get to go in the offices. I cried just because I saw them in passing…needless to say, I was pretty excited.

Our Global Semesters program coordinator had arrived at the museum an hour before us to wait in line for tickets, so we only had to wait in line to enter the museum. Once we were in, Olivia said we were free to wander around the museum at our own pace. I knew I didn’t have unlimited time because I had to make it to my 1:15pm class, inconveniently located on the other side of town. I had one goal: I would not leave the Uffizi without seeing Boticelli’s “The Birth of Venus.”

When I visited Florence briefly in high school, we didn’t have a chance to visit any of the museums–a true crime, really. I did, however, buy an amazing scarf from a street vender. When I wear it, it simply looks like a blue and white pattern. When the scarf is laid flat, it’s Botticelli’s famous work. I had been wearing the painting for nearly three years, it was about time I saw it in person.

A realistic capture of my experience.

We skipped past the alter pieces and gold plated depictions of religious scenes, until we finally arrived in the Botticelli gallery. Emily offered to take my picture with the painting, an impossible feat due to everyone trying to get a quick snapshot of the piece. In the end, I ended up with a picture that reminds me of what it was truly like–and I wouldn’t want anything else.

Luckily, my Botticelli quest was short and I was able to take my time visiting the rest of the Uffizi. I would have been able to spend much more time, but I can always go back another day; leaving fifteen minutes before I needed to meant I had time to eat a real lunch.

Gelato from Amalo.

…and by real lunch, I mean gelato. Emily and I made a quick stop at Amalo, a gelateria that is dangerously close to our apartment. I couldn’t resist the pear & chocolate again, but let the person scooping pick my other flavor. I ended up with hazelnut.

After ten minutes of savoring my gelato, I shoveled the rest down and literally ran to class. I made it in time, but it was a little bit of a close call. Communicating in Italian is the only class I have twice a week. On Monday, we have a traditional in-class lesson, focused on speaking the language and the words/ phrases we need in our daily lives. Wednesday classes typically involve going out into the city and actually practicing our language skills. On this day, we went to the grocery store and had to locate and price a list of fruits and vegetables.

Class ended early and I walked to my next class with a friend–her apartment is in the same direction as my second class. Since I had some extra time, we stopped in a few shops. I ended up buying a shirt and arrived at the classroom with plenty of time to spare.

My second Wednesday class in Gallery and Exhibition Curating. The class is currently working on a solo exhibition for Vincenzo Gualano, a young Florentine artist. The artist spent nearly two hours explaining his work, inspiration, and a complicated stye he created called “equazionismo astromistico.” While there was a clear language barrier (Vincenzo mostly spoke to our professor, who then translated to the class), the language wasn’t the only thing stopping me from understanding some of his art.

After Gualano left, the class decided which pieces we wanted to feature in the exhibition. When the professor started to say that we would need a press release, my hand shot up and I explained I was a communications major.

“Perfect. You will write the press release by the end of the week.”

I made sure I had all the information I needed to send the press release back to the professor and went on my way home, stopping at the two stores I seem to live at: Conad and the ,99 Euro store.

At home, I realized that I had the apartment to myself. This was the first time I was alone in our six person apartment since I arrived in Florence. I love spending time with people, but since I can be introverted, time alone to recharge is definitely necessary.

By the end of the day, I couldn’t believe that the trip to the Uffizi was only that morning.

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