Name: Carley Hammers
Hometown: Minneapolis, MN
Major: Professional Communication & Emerging Media, Art minor
Study Abroad Location: Lorenzo de Medici in Florence, Italy
My name is Carley and for the Fall 2015 semester I am studying in Florence, Italy! I’ve been here just over a month and can’t even put into words how great of an experience this has been, but I will surely try.
When you first move to a different country, more than likely you’re not going to know the language, and if you do you’re one of the lucky ones. Well, since I was not one of the so-called “lucky ones” that was my first reality check upon entering this beautiful country. Although, don’t fret because Florence is the number one study abroad destination in the world so everyone’s English is pretty good. But, just because mostly everyone speaks English doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use this experience as a learning experience to practice the language you’re learning in class. That’s right! At Lorenzo de Medici, you are required to take one Italian language course during your semester. At first, I wasn’t so pleased with this option because I have already fulfilled my language requirement at Stout, but it has been an amazing resource to learn little things that help me get around the city, like ordering my food and gelato, you know the important things in life. On top of that, I am finishing off my art minor studying art history, which means I get to go to the actual places where the real pieces are! To me, this has been the most amazing part of my learning experience in Florence because it’s one thing to study art on a PowerPoint slide and another to see it up close and personal.
Outside of my academics, I have been able to visit Cinque Terre, which is a collection of five towns on the coast of Italy on the Mediterranean Sea, Rome and Munich, Germany for Oktoberfest. To some, this may seem like I am wasting my time because I haven’t visited a lot of places compared to some, but I’ve also been busy exploring this beautiful city I get to call home for the next 2 months. Plus, I decided I didn’t want to come home right away so I will be traveling throughout Europe for 2 and a half weeks after the semester is over, so I’m not to worried about making it to places I want to see.
All in all, this experience has been everything and more that I could have dreamed of when I was planning this trip. Although I will be missing the holidays with my family this year, I have made some amazing friends who will be by my side to cook an as close as we can get all-American Thanksgiving dinner and live it up while we can in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Like I said in one of my most recent Instagram posts, whoever said Disney World is the happiest place on Earth, clearly has never been to Italy.
Enjoy the beautiful Fall weather my fellow Stouties!
The view from my front door (p.s. the building at the end is the Duomo so that’s pretty neat)
Walking the streets of Florence
View overlooking Florence at Piazzale Michelangelo
The 500 room at Palazzo Vecchio
Late night gelato outside of the Duomo
Cliche tourist picture across from the Ponte Vecchio