Emily: Arezzo, Italy

Junior, International Studies & History
Host Location: Arezzo, Italy
Program: UK Sponsored Italian Language, Art & Culture in Tuscany
Term: Summer 2013
Overall, on a scale from one to five, Emily rates this program a five.

Why did you decide to study abroad?
I always knew I wanted to study abroad. I wanted to do a homestay and I wanted to go to Italy and learn Italian, and the fact that this program was “off the beaten path” really appealed to me. It is a once in a lifetime experience that every college should take advantage of.

What classes did you take and how did they apply to your degree?
I took ITA 201 and FA 501, both of which applied to my International Studies major as requirements.

What is your favorite memory from abroad?
My favorite memory is definitely attending the Giostra del Saracino. It’s an annual joust that has been going on in the city since medieval times, and they all still dress up in traditional costume and parade around. Arezzo is divided into 4 quartiere (neighborhoods) and they all compete against each other. The week leading up to it is a constant stream of festivities, with block parties every night in each neighborhood. The night of the joust, the atmosphere is absolutely electric. You know that feeling you get in Rupp Arena when someone makes an amazing play and everyone just explodes? It was that intense there. Our quartiere ended up winning, so we stayed up all night celebrating with the rest of the town. That is a moment I will never forget.

What is some advice you would give to students doing a similar program?
Don’t be afraid to get out there and talk to the other young Italians! They love practicing their English with you and are more than willing to help you with your Italian. If you ever have the option of a homestay, I would definitely recommend it! The families treat you like one of their own and especially in Italy where family is so important, they take great care of you.