Unlike many of my peers, I’ve been lucky enough to spend both fall and spring semester in Florence, in addition to a bit of time on both ends of my stay. I haven’t been home since June of 2011, nearly nine months now that I’ve counted, but it hardly feels that long. My mother is even suggesting I extend to another semester, and it’s tempting! Having travelled internationally throughout my life due to overseas relatives and my parents’ desire to vacation somewhere not Hawaii, I rarely find it difficult to settle into new lifestyles and homesick is really just a word to me. “Peoplesick” might be more appropriate, as I would happily transport my family and friends here rather than return to the United States. I’d like to say I’ve settled seamlessly into life in Florence, though the language barrier routinely makes itself known whenever I actually need something. I’ve done without American food save for the occasional burger at the Diner, and I’ll admit that all the delicious food here is murder for impulse-eating control. Of course, walking to class surrounded by Renaissance buildings and the beauty that is Florence has utterly ruined the Arizona State University campus for me. Though I plan on pursuing a Master’s degree at Oxford, I wonder if I’ll ever find as magnificent an experience as these semesters. There’s something to be said about walking to class beside the Arno river, smelling the fresh pasta, and listening to the Italian chatter between the columns of the Uffizi Gallery. I’ll never grow tired of it.
Student at ISI Florence