This semester, two CCI students will be sharing their experiences studying abroad in Florence, Italy. Follow them on their journey as they deal with culture shock, language barriers, and a total lifestyle change.
By Rachel Rankin, ’17
Now that I have been in Italy for almost two months, I am finally traveling outside of Florence. Within the last few weeks I have been to Verona, Rome and Barcelona, Spain. Florence is a great city with many things to do, but it is nice to get out and explore other cities and countries.
First stop…Verona. I traveled with my roommate Emma to Verona, Italy as a one-day trip. The “Verona In Love Festival” was going on right before Valentine’s Day. Verona is a cute and unique city that is small, but filled with such character. We spent the day with Smart Trip and visited Romeo and Juliet’s houses, along with a few other parts of the city. Verona is not very far from Florence, but it was nice to explore a different city even if it wasn’t very large. It is important to get to know your hometown while abroad, but I think adventuring to these other places are just as important.
I recently traveled to Rome for one of my CCI college field trips. I was in Rome for almost 4 full days and saw a lot of historical sights. We visited the Trevi Fountain, the Coliseum, the Roman Forum, the Spanish Steps and more. We also had the opportunity to listen to the Pope speak. Rome is a lot bigger than Florence and there is so much to see. We were constantly touring with our professors and the walking never stopped. The Trevi Fountain was beautiful during the day, but I returned at nighttime and it was even more amazing.
The architecture changes from night and day and it was nice to see both sides. The Coliseum was more beautiful than I imagines. It felt as if the gladiators were still present within. It is shocking to think someone built this large arena many years ago. Rome was a beautiful place and I hope I am able to return someday. I think there is a lot to learn from Rome and it is incredible to think the art and architecture was created so long ago. This city is a must see when traveling to Italy.
My biggest trip was to Barcelona, Spain. This was a trip taken independently from the school and I went with my roommate Emma and our friend Jon. We left on a Friday morning and returned Sunday night. Our Spain trip was a beautiful disaster. Traveling to an unfamiliar place can be stressful and fun at the same time. We did not sight see as much as we wanted because transportation was difficult. What we did explore was beautiful. We visited Park Guell and saw the mosaics, which are popular in Spain. The view from the top of the city was breathtaking and worth the struggle to find. Staying in Barcelona was also my first experience in a hostel. My first hostel experience was great and a lot of fun. I was a bit skeptical at first, but it was basically similar to staying in a dorm. After an exhausting, but fun weekend, we were all ready to go back to Florence. I am happy with our trip to Spain and I hope I am able to go back someday to explore more of the city.
Traveling has taught me so much about myself. I have learned to have patience with people as we are all struggling to figure out what we are doing or where we are going. I have learned to relax and know that everything will work out in the end. I can now thoroughly read a map (in a different language) and figure out directions (which is very important). Traveling is crucial to your personal growth. I encourage everyone to travel, whether it is near or far. There is a lesson to be learned wherever you are going in life.