Preparing for “La Dolce Vita!” – API Blog

Today’s blog post comes to us from Texas A&M student & API summer 2019 Student Blogger Kate Hale! She’s spending the summer in beautiful Florence, Italy. It’s not too late to join us here this fall. The application deadline for our Direct Enrollment Programs at Lorenzo de’Medici: The Italian International Institute have been extended to June 15th!

Kate Hale

Ciao tutti! I am only TWO days away from hopping on a plane (multiple planes actually) and heading to Florence!

As many of you know, this opportunity has been a dream of mine for so long, and I can’t believe that it’s finally here y’all! In partnership with the API Study Abroad Student Blogger program, I’ll be keeping everyone up to date on all of my adventures in Italia with some new friends.

That being said, why not also keep y’all updated as to my pre-departure preparations and emotions as I get ready to leave the States for the next TEN weeks???

It’s hard for me to put into words how truly thrilled I am to FINALLY be able to take this journey.

With API, we kind of get our information in pieces, starting a couple weeks before our departure from the States. With each piece of info we received, like housing assignments (side note: I have the most AMAZING apartment location that I actually cried when I found out) and excursions (fancy word for cities we’ll be traveling to), I have become more and more excited for my adventures to come.

Back in 2012, I got to spend a month in England with my grandparents and my cousin, and we got to meet my English side of the family for the first time (my Nanna is from Luton, England!!). At the tail end of our month there, our grandparents surprised my cousin and I with a trip to Rome for a couple of days. As soon as we stepped off the plane at Fiumicino, I became almost entranced with the country. The food, the history, the art, the ruins… it was incredible! I told myself I’d come back some day, and look at that! Here. We. Are.

I’m traveling to Italy with a slight advantage in knowing the language.

For the past three years I’ve been studying Italian at Texas A&M, and in the fall semester I’ll be working as a TA for Beginner’s Italian. My profs have prepared me well for Italy, making sure I was equipped with everything I need to be able to converse with local Florentines! Speaking Italian to ITALIANS is definitely going to be a step outside of my comfort zone. Then again… this entire summer is one big jump outside of my comfort zone.

Quite honestly, I think the nerves of traveling alone have finally started to kick in. What if I miss my connections? Do I have to go through customs at my connection in Madrid and then again in Italy? Did I pack enough? Too much? Are pickpockets are scary and frequent as everyone keeps telling me? People keep saying that Florence looks like King’s Landing, will I die at the hands of Daenerys Targaryen too????

While the last one might be a slight stretch, I know that I can only control what I can control! I calm my nerves by just reminding myself of that…and sometimes it takes me saying it a couple of times for me to believe it. And I mean, just look at my beautiful home for the summer!

API Study Abroad Florence

I am overjoyed with the opportunities I have been given this summer. I can’t WAIT to share all of my adventures!

If you’d like to follow more of Kate’s adventures in Florence, check out her personal blog. Safe travels, Kate!

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