Discovering Tuscany  

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We spent a week in Tuscany visiting museums, touring churches, and seeing pivotal monuments of this region. This was the week of 3-7 October 2011. We visited Cortona, Lucca, Pisa, Florence, and Siena. I still cannot believe the things I have seen with my own two eyes. I often ask myself, "Is this real life". I'm truly grateful and undoubtedly blessed for the opportunities that I have had here. I've provided a video to show, in a nutshell, the greatness of Tuscany. Enjoy!

Finding Perspective....Studying and Learning Abroad  

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I know it's hard to believe that I am in Italy to be a student, but a student is my number one priority. Classes have been well underway and although I LOVE it here and am learning how to really spend the time to relax and enjoy life, I am still finding myself stressing out. School never fails to provide me with a few sleepless nights and constant worrying. That's just me I guess (no matter what country I'm studying in).

This fall I am taking a diverse combination of courses, this being; roman civilization, intercultural communication, and an array of Italian spoken courses. At first glance my fall schedule doesn't seem too off beat, but I find myself struggling with the simplest tasks. Not only am I taking classes in a different institution, and in a new country, but I am being taught to think in a completely different way. In the beginning I found myself resisting the changes and because of that I felt overwhelmed and discouraged.
The Italian system and way of thinking is not the same as that of the U.S. Our habits, our approach to life are very different. Even more than I expected them to be, but recently I have come across something very profound (or at least I think it to be). We are all affected by our history. Not just that of an individual, but of a people who have evolved for centuries.

In Italy the idea of time is very different to that of the U.S. this is influenced by the fact that the Italians have such a vast, extensive history. Their history dates back to B.C. whereas the U.S. only dates back to the 17th century. This makes a big difference on our perspectives. Did you know that this year marks the 150 year anniversary of unification of Italy. In the grand scheme of the Italian and Roman history this makes Italy seem like a baby state and most Italians feel patronage to their towns and regions instead of the country itself. They view themselves as Venetians, Florentines, Romans, Sicilians, Sardinians, Viterbese, among many others.

I've only begun to understand our differences, but by merely acknowledging that they exist puts me in a completely different perspective than when I first arrived here. 

 Universit√† degli Studi della Tuscia

The University at a Distance

The Main Courtyard
Entrance to the University with my friend Mary Kay

Using the Free Wifi at School

A corridor w/ Frescos remains

I feel like I am at Hogwarts ^.^