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A Day in the Life of a Study Abroad Student in Florence

May 23, 2024
by Lydia Stueber
Two study abroad students holding gelato and smiling at the camera

A Day in the Life of a Study Abroad Student in Florence, Italy 

For my CEA CAPA experience, I wanted to show an actual, full day in the life of a study abroad student in Florence, Italy! I took pictures throughout my classes, walks, and events of the day. While studying abroad, you can sometimes get stuck in the familiarity of going to class, grocery shopping, etc., and forget that you are living and learning abroad! This project made me stop and look at the streets and buildings more than normal; and reminded me of my current beautiful reality!  

A person with their back to the camera walking past a church in Florence with a cross on top

My photography professor is pictured walking here, as we walk around the city shooting photos for our class project today. 

I woke up and got dressed in my room, which is the attic of our apartment! Florence is also a city where you’ll never see anything the same way, and there’s always more to explore.  

A closet with clothes on a rod

I wake up in my student apartment and get dressed! Basic colors are key in Europe. 

Every street has hidden doorways, artwork, history, and more. While documenting my day in the life, I took extra notice of the special findings while exploring Florence, even just on my way to class.  

Three study abroad students with their backs to the camera walking toward a building

Off to class! 

I walked to my Sketchbook Studies class, where we had a lecture, and then went to a site! We learned about various palaces, churches, and more.  

A study abroad student's hand resting on top of a blank white notebook page holding a pencil

Drawing the exterior of the buildings for my sketchbook assignment this week. 

Then we visited the site and created sketchbook layouts of the places. I found a sunny spot to draw and worked on my project after we toured our site and discussed its history.  

Three study abroad students sitting in chairs with their backs to the camera looking at a projection screen on a wall

A lecture from my Sketchbook Studies class about the Palazzo Vecchio. 

In my Art History class, we had another site visit and went to a museum! The best way to learn about art and history is to see it for yourself, which is exactly what you can do in Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance!  

Statues of two people in a niche on the wall

The best way to learn about statues in Art History: visiting the statues! 

Three study abroad students walking and partially facing the camera

Off on a field trip! Today we walked to and visited the “Hospital of the Innocents.” 

After my morning classes, I walked to Pino’s to get a sandwich. Pino’s is a popular place for study abroad students (and other students, visitors, locals, etc.) to eat. You can even get a punch card to work towards a free sandwich.  

A strip of photos featuring a study abroad smiling next to a wrapped sandwich and keys on a table

Some Florence essentials: a Pino’s sandwich for lunch and a photo strip from the booths around the city. 

I love coming here; not only is the food excellent, but the owner and his family will learn your name and order and are so kind and fun. I decided to stop at the photo booth across the street from Pino’s, a must-do in Florence. I never expect the machine when it starts, hence the first off-guard picture!  

My favorite place to sit in Florence is on the bridge by the Arno River. It’s a beautiful sunny spot; it's great to people-watch, sip a coffee, watch the kayakers that sometimes paddle in the river, and even do Italian homework.  

A textbook and an almost-empty plastic drink cup sitting on a ledge overlooking the Arno River

No better place to do Italian homework than overlooking the River Arno (with some coffee of course). 

After relaxing and working there a bit, I went to my final class of the day, which is Photography! Today, we walked to a local park, took some action shots, and met some of the local Firenze residents. After class, my friend and classmate Gracee and I decided to get some gelato to end the night before we went home.  

A selfie of two study abroad students holding gelato and smiling at the camera

A full day calls for some gelato! My friend Gracee and I rewarded ourselves after the photo class. 

Florence is a stunning city, with amazing teachers, classes, and sites. Every day is different, and this was my day today!  

Lydia Stueber is the Content Creator - Photographer in Florence, Italy, and is currently studying at University of Utah.
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