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Florentine Living

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When I think back to the weeks leading up to my program, the one thing that I was most excited about was my housing. I chose to live in an apartment with other students rather than a home stay; I thought that would be the easiest way to meet people. I hoped that we would live in a nice little apartment close to school and nightlife, but far enough away to be on a typical Italian street. I couldn’t wait to see where I would be calling home for the next few months, and to meet my new roommates.
 
When we finally arrived at our apartment, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it could not be in a better location. It’s just a block away from our school and a short walk from the very center of Florence. There are tons of good restaurants, bars and retail stores to visit, and whether I’m looking for fresh parmigiano reggiano at the market or some genuine Florentine leather products, it’s all within a few blocks of my building. There are some interesting historical sites and museums close by as well, like the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore (better known as the Duomo) and the Medici Chapels.
 
I have two other roommates, but most of the time it feels like I have eight. There are three CEA apartments in my building that share a tiny hallway on the top floor, and often times our front doors are open and everyone comes and goes as they please. Even though we are all from different parts of the United States and Canada, we get along fantastically. I think CEA really takes into consideration the housing forms we fill out before the program starts, and because of that I’ve made some great friends that will probably last a lifetime.
 
Although I really enjoy my apartment now, living in Florence took some getting used to. There are five flights of stairs going up to my apartment, and I was definitely struggling the first day with my 50 lb suitcase. The laundry situation has proven to be quite interesting; it takes days to do one load since we have no dryer or patio to hang our clothes on. At first things like this were a hassle, but now I feel like it just adds to the experience of living abroad. What would be the point if everything were the same, right?
 
CEA really does a great job at finding the best housing for their students. The location cannot be beat, my roommates have been awesome and the little quirks of Italian living have been fun to experience. My living situation has honestly been one of my favorite parts of studying abroad in Florence.
 
Loren Benton
CEA MOJO in Florence

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