Study Abroad Stories: Florence, Italy
Post created on 08/09/2021 by EZC Study Abroad
We just launched our new Intern Abroad Program in Florence, Italy. Check out the program here
In the meantime we have interviewed a few International Students who lived this incredible experience in Florence. Enjoy!
- What is your name?
- Please write a short intro about yourself
Married and studying Italian, I find Florence a wonderful place to live; not just for the many options about visiting and culture, but for the blend between strong, traditional roots and international reach one can experience in any area of the city.
- Why study or intern abroad in Florence?
Certainly the fact that Florence is one of the most famous cities in the world played a part; but also the overall quality of life; and let's not forget the Italian spoken in the region is the true language!
- Is Florence a safe place to study abroad (perhaps mention also some nice/cool neighborhood to hang out) ?
Florence is very safe when compared to international destinations; the center can be a pickle at night for the mess caused by bars and pubs. The real challenge is keeping your bike...not stolen.
- Cultural differences (food, family, work, etc..)
The slowness and difficulty of local bureaucracy is a sadly true stereotype; people are very easy and helpful as there is a strong "village" mentality: if I know you, you are one of us, I will be a friend. On the other hand, without some personal touch, it is easy to be considered yet another staying in their city for a short while, to merely pass by as so many others.
- A fun story to share
Given there are millions of tourist each year, locals easily spot if you are not Italian and start speaking English. My husband is local so, when we are together, is always spoken to in English (and my Italian is very good too)!
- What to pack before travelling to Florence?
Adapter (Italian plug is one of a kind), sunscreen, good shoes! There's no other country where you have to walk so much!
- Must do weekend trips (ie. in Tuscany, Rome, Milan, etc...)
The very famous (Venice, Rome, etc.) are a must as they're just 1.5h by train. I recommend the Tuscan ones: Valdorcia and the magic of countryside, Casentino and its ancient forests, all fun about light archeology (Fiesole, Cortona, Pitigliano, Tuscia)
- Any advice to the newcomers?
Italians are very welcoming, while a few ones take advantages of tourists / expats. Learn to pinpoint the traps (any local would help) and things will be great since day 1!