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Study Abroad in Italy

The cheesy time I bought pizza on Valentine’s Day & why you should too

This morning, my professor said Valentine’s Day is only for couples but I beg to differ.  After a morbid cemetery tour where I learned the tragic love stories of Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Margaret Fuller (stories for a different day, perhaps) I took myself to the Florence Chocolate Festival. I bought a delicious waffle covered in dark chocolate and basked in the sunlight.  At 60 degrees, there’s not much in life to feel sad about. Sure, I’m alone on this dumb holiday, but I’m self-sufficient and that counts for something. […]

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72 Hours in Venice

Of all the beautiful pictures I took in Venice, this one isn’t the obvious choice. It’s dark, deserted, dismal. But the tranquil experience it provided me is reason enough for me to want to share it with you. Through many struggles (getting lost for hours in the middle of the night/thinking we’d have to sleep outside, plane delays, missed trains and busses) three of my favorite people made it. This weekend was many things: relaxing, picturesque, and just right. It’s surreal to me that I can meet my closest friends in […]

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Corinne, or Italy: a Brief Reflection

“Here the genius feels at home, because here reverie is so sweet. If he is restless it soothes him, if he regrets some unattained goal it presents him with a thousand golden visions. If men oppress him nature is there to welcome him.” I just started re-reading A Room With a View, which I bought at a bookstore with my parents when they dropped me off for my sophomore year at the U. Needless to say, it’s a special book. However, the above quote is from Corinne, or Italy. The […]

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48 Hours in Paris

This weekend I spent 48 hours in Paris, and probably did 48 miles of walking. In all honesty, Paris was not on my list of places to see. It sounded overrated, crowded, and expensive. If I wanted to see the Eiffel Tower, why not just look up a picture of it? Then I realized why not: because it’s transformative. I’m not a person who likes to be too cliche, but Paris changed my outlook on life. Pre-Paris, I was homesick, lonely, and counting down the days to seeing my old […]

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Week 1 Recap

Living in Italy isn’t completely what I’d expected. I miss Kraft Mac and Cheese and my mom substantially more than I should. That being said, through the tears of homesickness, there have also been many bright times. Every day, it take courage to leave my apartment and step out into the world, to venture into shops where I don’t understand the language/culture. It takes courage even to go to classes to meet other people in my program… they seem to have it all together and I do not have it […]

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7 Things You Will Feel Before Going Abroad

Leaving home is a huge step. Monumental. In order to make it through, realize that an emotional roller coaster is OK. It’s healthy even. To make the most of your time abroad, get in touch with yourself. Understand the following emotional stages are key to success abroad. 1. Indecision It’s okay to take a long time to figure out if something is right for you. It means you care. It means you’re making the best decision for yourself as possible. The indecision and confusion at this point are normal, but […]

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{Barcelona, Buddha-Pest and just a bit of finals procrastination}

Wrapping up an adventure of a lifetime and a semester that changed my life is hard to say goodbye to. As sad as I am to leave this beautiful country, I’m so incredibly thankful for the experiences I’ve had, for the places I’ve seen, and for the memories that have been made with people who have become my closest friends. Listening to violins in the piazza through the classroom windows, gazing at the incredible Italian architecture and eating my appetite full of hearty Italian food with a strong glass of wine […]

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Auschwitz, Poland

Not a blog post I would have ever thought to write about, nor a pleasant one, but a very important part in our nations history to remember the many beautiful souls who were lost. An experience that I can’t really explain to stand in the spot where up to 1.5 million people were killed. While hurting for answers, not being able to grasp how such a horrific time in history happened, I wasn’t sure what to expect on my first visit to Auschwitz but was eager to pay my respect […]

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​{the reality of leaving home was scary but the reality of leaving Florence is even scarier}

“Never walk alone” “always hold your purse shut” “stand your ground” “this experience will change your life” “please be safe” “you’ll come back a new person”. Ever since I brought up the idea that I wanted to take my studies abroad, these words became redundant. The nerves, the excitement and the unknown were exhilarating and the fact that I would be studying in the capital of Tuscany didn’t seem real. Heading overseas with a passport in hand and a spirit of adventure was all I knew, but it all felt so distant. As I was entering […]

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The Louvre, the Lock Bridge, and the Next Step

There’s no time for sleeping in on vacation. Not in Paris. On day two we forced ourselves to wake up early enough to beat the crowds at the Louvre. Our alarms buzzed at 8am. Snooze. Our first day exploring we were up and at ’em by about 9:30am. The line for the Louvre around then was nonexistent, so our groggy morning minds figured we could sleep until 9, leave the hostel around 10, and be one of the first in line at the Louvre by 10:15. Not true. We got […]

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The Parisian Paradise: Sipping Wine Underneath the Eiffel Tower

Excited to venture into one of the world’s most famous cities, Megan and I woke up early and made a quick plan for the day. Our goal? Explore. We had three full days here– still a short amount of time, but enough to not feel too rushed. We knew our first goal was to see the Eiffel Tower. Paris is centered around the Seine river, and it acted as a landmark for us to find our way around the city. Without functioning phones we first felt pretty damn useless. I’ve […]

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From Pisa to Paris: Learning to Navigate the World

Extensive traveling is equally exciting as it is exhausting. People post incredible photos online of their picturesque getaways, showcasing the absolute highlights of their vacation. But what’s not shown are the endless lines outside of bathrooms, the labyrinth of different train platforms, and the groggy travelers hectically pushing through the masses trying to catch their next ride. Megan and I set off from Florence for a ten day journey; Train to Pisa, then fly to Paris, Amsterdam, Prague, and Milan. Then we would catch a train from Milan back to […]

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Amsterdam, Netherlands {2nd stop of 12 day break}

Another glorious 5am wake up call to A M S T E R D A M  The most random, creative and hip city the world will ever see, sure blew me away. We’ve always had interesting luck in metro stations and that’s definitely how we started our trip when we were split up from one another as the metro doors closed on our faces and Brit and I were split up from Alex. Again with no wi-fi and cell service we surprisingly found each other.. in another train station…outside of […]

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Paris, France {1st stop of 12 day break}

5 am wake up call… 5:05 am… still in bed… Britt: “We are going to Paris AL, GET UP, YOU CAN DO IT” A large coffee was consumed and we were on our way, for our glorious 12-day break and this is where we started; P A R I S For me it was a place I had dreamed about most of my life and was fascinated by from the immense history and beauty. It exceeded every expectation I had – about ten times better than in any movie or […]

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Lake Geneva, Switzerland {last stop of 12 day break}

Our last 5 am wake up call for our final stop.. Lake Geneva, a town and one of the largest lakes in Western Europe,   that is divided between France and Switzerland at the most southern part. It was intriguing to hear french, german and english constantly given that the border of France was about 5 minutes from our Air B and B where the prices dropped dramatically and the romance language sure sounded a bit prettier. You sure know you’re in Switzerland when your Starbucks costs you about 7 CHF and […]

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