Hello! My name is Allie Canal and I will be spending the next three and a half months blogging halfway across the world – with gelato in hand, obviously – at Georgetown’s Villa le Balze in Florence! I am a junior in the College studying English, business, and journalism and, although I am excited to begin my European adventure, I am a little nervous! No matter how hard I try to memorize the distinction between linguine and spaghetti pasta, or even how many times I watch Under the Tuscan Sun, I don’t think I can adequately prepare myself for what Florence, Italy has in store for me.
Sure, I’ve learned about the powerful Medici family and I’ve read the persuasive words of Machiavelli’s The Prince in high school, but to actually reside in the city that The David calls home is incredible and even a little overwhelming to say the least. Living and breathing against the backdrop of rolling hills, patches of sunflowers and ancient ruins seems like a once in a lifetime opportunity. Still, the craziest thing for me is that I am hopping on a plane and traveling more than 4,000 miles to a new country for, not a few days, not a few weeks, not even a few months, but an entire semester. It is not a vacation. It is a new place to call home.
Living in another country, let alone an entirely different continent on the other side of the world, takes a certain sense of spontaneity and adventure. It is a complete leap of faith, a burning desire to transcend yourself and your environment in the most intense way possible. Although I’ve briefly visited Italy before, I’ve only touched the surface of what the country has to offer.
As I embark on my study abroad journey, I can’t say just yet what I am most excited for simply because I don’t know what the semester has in store. But that is exactly what makes studying abroad the most worthwhile experience – the realization that not knowing is sometimes exactly what we need.
Get ready, Florence. I’ll be seeing you in eight short days.