Friday, September 4, 2015

Study Abroad Diaries: First Week in Florence

*This article was originally written for Her Campus NYU*

Ciao tutti! We've officially survived the first week of classes here at NYU Florence. Settling in has been a whirlwind of an experience: 100 degree weather, sharing an apartment with 7 other people, attending non-stop orientation events from morning to night, getting lost while trying to find our way home, taking a 20 minute bus ride from our apartment to campus and walking up that dang hill to Villa Ulivi where we have most of our classes. It's been one hectic week going back and forth from the city center to our scenic campus on Via Bolognese, but most of us are finally starting to get into routine. 

I live about an hour away from campus by walking, so my roommates and I take the bus from Piazza San Marco up to school every morning. Although our transportation system is not exactly ideal, the best thing about living in the city center is that we're close to everything! Most of the upperclassmen apartments are located just a few minutes away from the stunning Duomo, not to mention an abundance of gelato shops, museums, pizzerias, bars, nightclubs, outdoor markets and other incredible places. 

If you've already visited the NYU Florence campus, then you probably know what I'm talking about when I say that our school is unreal. Due to a generous donation in 1994, NYU Florence owns five historic villas and 57 acres of lush gardens and groves. Every time I walk on campus I feel as if I'm stepping into a fairytale. Is this really where I'll be spending my time studying for midterms and taking my finals? In that case, this semester should be a breeze! 

The best part about studying abroad is the ability travel to so many places in just four short months. Last weekend, my roommate and I woke up at 5:30am and took a bus to Cinque Terre, where we spent the day hiking across Cinque Terre National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and three of the five, gorgeous Cinque Terre villages: Levanto, Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore. Our mosquito bites and sunburns were definitely worth the incredible views. We ended our trip in Monterosso, where we swam and soaked in the clear, blue Mediterranean waters. Although fall break is months away, we're already planning to country-hop across the UK! 

(Photos taken in Italy)

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