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Study Abroad in Florence: Survival

November 07, 2016
by Patrick Casey

Studying Abroad is a no-brainer. However, there are three keys to having a fulfilling time a brand new place. Going halfway around the world must be well planned in order to have a satisfying time. Here are the three key components one must bring to Italy in order to make the most of the shortest months.


The streets of Florence and many Italian cities are lined with uneven cobblestone. Looks fascinating, but it can become a nuisance when walking is the only mode of transportation. Bringing a comfortable pair of running shoes can save you the pain and make your adventures that much better. Although frowned upon in most cultures, Crocs can be the best shoe for anyone abroad. Comfy, easy to slip on and smell-proof. What could be better? The more supported your feet are, the easier it is to walk around on the traditional uneven streets. Lesson number: Comfortable shoes are essential.

 Crocs: the essential walking shoe

A Big Stomach

 Guiness Book of World Records: record for most expensive truffle.

Everyone is aware of the world famous Italian culture and food as an important part of it. So going into Italy, you’ll need to prepare for the exquisite tastes that will fly into your mouth. Pasta and pizza everyday is a norm for most. Unlike the unhealthy Little Caesers or Dominos, the freshest ingrediants are used. Still, you will find yourself sutffing your face even when you satisfied your hunger an hour before. Weight gain is quite possible, but it is worth every bite.
 Gelato = life.

An Open Mind

Keeping an open mind sounds easier than it is. By an open mind, I mean completely changing your style of life. Rethinking everything you're used to and applying it daily. If you don't think you'll enjoy something, try it anyways. This is the time to experience it all, learning every which way you can. Some students never try using the Bidet, (Toilet bowl separate from the toilet used for cleaning the butt after the bathroom) but try it, thats apart of every Italian's daily life. Spend more money than you would normally. Not on clothes or material items, but experiences like traveling, food and museum tours. Why not? This could be your only chance ever to experience a different way of life. CEA offers tons of different options for students to experience the Italian culture. Whether it's a class excursion to a beautiful Italian city (Bologna, Cinque Terra, Turin), volunteer options (Museum tour guide, helping the homeless, Student exchanges with Italians), or classes on cooking, wine tasting and lectures on interesting subjects, try it all. Even keeping an open mind on the food because everything tastes completely different in Italy than at home. An anchove at home is not the same as an anchove on a freshly made Italian pizza. Bringing an open mind to Italy can help you learn alot about yourself and life as a whole, while experiencing the funnest times of your early life. Unforgettable.

So before you embark on a journey of a lifetime, remeber to always bring comfortable shoes, a big stomach and an open mind.

Patrick Casey is the Fall 2016 CEA MOJO in Florence, Italy. He is currently a junior studying Communications at Sacramento State University.

Patrick Casey is the Fall 2016 CEA MOJO Blogger in Florence, Italy, and is currently studying at California State University, Sacramento.
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