"I saw this photo today on Facebook because one of my teammates from this weeks basketball tournament posted it. It made me happy to see this picture because since I have been in Italy, playing basketball has made me feel the most at home. It also filled me with joy because I remembered how great it was to meet and play with all of the Italian girls (Lauren Jagels)".
"I had the fortunate experience of going to Corfu, Greece, this weekend. From our balcony of our hotel room, we had the most beautiful view of the Agios Gordis Beach (shown below) where we got to kayak and swim while the sun shined down on us. When I was kayaking in the vibrant blue water, I thought sarcastically, "I have a pretty rough life." On our way back from Corfu to Italy, I was happy to return to the lively atmosphere of Florence and all that accompanies it" (Sean Brennan).
"This weekend I went to the Ponte Vecchio for the first time. We have walked through a lot of different places in Florence and even taken a few tours. But it hit me this weekend taking 'selfies' on the bridge. We are in a place that is known in history as one of the culturally richest that the world has seen; so many artists and great thinkers lived and made a mark in this town.On the other and you also have modern history, like the world wars that took place on the same streets. It just boggles my mind to think that I am able to live and study in a place like this!" (Ashley Swanson).
"It is a picture that depicts a scene that I found interesting this weekend. I always am interested to watch the street artists paint and interact with potential customers. I often wonder how they make a living off selling these beautiful works of art. Also, I wonder what the artists' opinions are of the street vendors that sell cheap replicas of famous painting that don't involve any skill on their part to recreate. What is the artist community like and how is it perceived in a place like Florence where old art often the focus? I hope through my travels around Florence I will learn more about various street artists and even buy a piece" (Jess Nevins).
“Running in Florence: During our second week in Florence, after having been overwhelmed by the amount of pasta I had been inhaling, I decided it was time to get back into my exercise routine. So one morning, when it was not so bright but definitely early, I went for a run. I left my pensione, Hotel Nazionale, and ran in the direction I had heard the river Arno would be. I had yet to venture far enough to see the river, one of the key aspects of the beautiful city of Florence. I was running and running, getting distracted by side streets and the early morning work rush when I came around the corner and was instantly left breathless. This was not because I had been running so hard, or because I was out of shape, but because the sun was just barely beginning to rise on the eastern side of Florence, the glow was just beginning to shine on the buildings, and the river Arno actually ran smooth and still. The light had not given away to its mucky nature yet and it truly looked magical. I ran back and forth across the bridges until I came to the last one, it was there that I truly realized I was in the city of Firenze, in Italy, so many miles away from home. It was here that I realized I was about to embark on the greatest adventure I’d had in my life thus far, and this was only the beginning” (Dominique Scott).
"This photo is of a sunset in Florence last week that I took on the balcony of Hotel Cordova. I really love this photo because it reminded me how lucky I am to be here and that in that peaceful moment, how much I love Florence" (Brigid Dunn).
"On Wednesday last week I took a cooking class in which we cooked a full three course meal. We were given all of the recipes afterwards to take home at the end of the semester. For me, this made me think about how I want to enjoy myself here, but I also want to be able to change and improve myself as a person through my experiences in a different culture. The opportunity to cook an authentic Tuscan meal for my family will allow me to always keep a piece of Florence with me and I will know that I got more than some crazy nights and great friends out of this study abroad experience" (Adam Wells).
"I chose a picture of the 5th floor balcony of my pensione Cordova because this will be my new home for the next year. Our balcony has an incredible view of the city and is a place where all my friends get together and eat or hangout during our free time. This picture gives me a feeling of belonging in a city that is completely new to me, a sort of home away from home. I haven't felt homesick yet because there has been such a strong community here and the balcony is a symbol of that community and coming together to spend quality time with one another" (Maria Black).