Name: Ceanne West
Major: Computer Science
Hometown: Millersville, MD
Destination: Italy, Summer 2013
Institution: Lorenzo de’ Medici, The Italian International Institute
Q1: Let’s talk about food – the good & the bad.
The best dish I had was probably the Florentine Steak on the last night; it was so tender and juicy. All the pizza was amazing too, so it was very hard to come back to Pizza Hut and Domino’s. The worst dishes were the pre-made sandwiches. I took a cooking class so I learned a lot of new recipes. My favorite ones were the balsamic chicken and nutella croissants.
Q2: Your favorite spot in your home away from home?
My favorite spot in Florence is Basilica di San Miniato al Monte during sunset. You’re able to see the entire city. It’s right next to Piazza Michelangelo, so you get the same view, but there’s a lot less people.
Q3: A local favorite?
Pino’s on Via Giuseppe Verdi, they have the best paninis ever. I went there nearly every day on the way back from class and got “The Best,” with roast beef, smoked cheese, cooked spinach, peppers, eggplant and Pino’s special hot sauce on focaccia bread.
Q4: Anything you DON’T miss from Italy?
I definitely don’t miss the swarms of both tourists & birds.
Q5: Homesick for anything from Italy?
I think I missed bread with salt in it & free tap water.
Q6: Pick up any new vocabulary while abroad?
I continued to say “scusa” instead of “excuse me” for a few weeks after I came back.
Q7: You could hardly believe your eyes when you saw …
When we went to Moneglia, the toilets near one of the train stations were practically holes in the ground. It was disgusting.
Q8: How did you manage your weekends?
I took a train to Moneglia the first weekend with a few other girls on my trip. Then I took the train to Pisa for a day. The weekend after, I went on one of the trips planned by our abroad school to Monaco & Monte Carlo then St. Paul de Vince and Cannes. On the last weekend, I took another trip planned by the school to Rome & Cannes. I definitely recommend going on the school trips rather than planning your own. It’s a little more expensive, but it’s much less stressful than trying to plan it yourself while you’re there. Plus, I was able to meet students who were also studying at my Italian school but were from different colleges in the states.
Q9: What challenged you while you were abroad?
My worst day was the third day in when the money for the weekend trips was due. The ATM wouldn’t give me cash, the girls with me left because it was getting too close to the deadline, I got lost trying to get to the office, and it was closed when I did. Make sure to tell your bank you’re going abroad before you do.
Q10: Parting words?
I feel like a lot of students say they want to study abroad, but never make the moves to do it. Hit up the study abroad office and get some information. It’s an amazing experience. If you’re afraid of being away from home for a whole semester, consider going during one of the breaks.