Archive for January, 2014

katietravels.umwblogs.org 2014-01-15 13:49:55

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

 

 

I don’t have classes on Wednesdays so I spent today exploring the city. Pretty nice to walk out of a shop and see this…

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Many of my posts may be more pictures than words. I think pictures are more interesting than words anyway.

katietravels.umwblogs.org 2014-01-14 16:59:11

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

I don’t really want to make a lengthy post about anything quite yet, as I still want to settle in a bit. But here, have a picture from my flight from London to Edinburgh.

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Il Primo Giorno a Sorrento

Monday, January 13th, 2014

I’m still in shock that I’m finally here.  Everything about this place is so beautiful, it’s hard to believe that I really get to live here for the next four months studying, traveling, eating, and soaking up the culture.  The photo below is the view from my school, Sant’Anna Institute-Sorrento Lingue, or SASL for short, so you can see how much studying I’m going to do this semester…

The View from SASL

Aside from the 30 plus long hours that I was awake for while traveling and settling in–I was too excited to sleep on the plane–everything has been unbelievably wonderful.  Granted, there are a lot of differences that are already sticking out to me.  So here’s some first impressions of what’s different:

  1. The showers are tiny.  Like, not even room to turn around or lift your arms tiny.
  2. There’s an actual key in the bathroom lock to lock the door with, and it’s kind of challenging to figure it out.  I’ve done pretty well with getting the door locked, but unlocking is a work in progress.  I may have locked myself in the bathroom for several panicky minutes several times already…
  3. Eating is an event.  You can, and will, spend several hours eating every meal.  On my first night here, I asked for the check after we had finished our meal because I’m the only one who speaks any Italian.  Aside from accidentally asking for a discount, “sconto,” instead of the check, “conto,” the server was confused as to why we were leaving so quickly.  Luckily, he was very kind and has become our first real Italian friend here in Sorrento.  We stayed and talked with him for quite a while, and he stopped us on the street the next day and greeted us as “his new friends.”
  4. Everything really does shut down in the middle of the day for a “siesta.”  Don’t bother going to the store between 1:30 and 3:30, because everyone’s taking a well-deserved break.  Everything resumes in the late afternoon, and it’s pretty calm until people come out for dinner around 8 p.m.
  5. People drive like maniacs.  The streets are all stone, and the side streets are tiny, but that doesn’t stop people in tiny cars and on vespas from whipping around.  I’ve almost been hit several times just today, but they always seem to be able to stop.  I’m thinking they probably get used to be being crazy drivers and become talented at driving badly well.
  6. Specific is not a word the Italians are very familiar with.  Today I asked one of my professors when I would start my internship, and he told me that I would start later than the other students with internships because mine was a 3-credit one as opposed to a 6-credit one.  I asked if he knew when, exactly, I would start work, and he shrugged and repeated “later.”  It’s definitely going to be a test of my ability to be flexible to deal with the lack of specificity in my daily life.  For example, “around 10″ could mean anywhere from 9:50 to 11:30.  In America, it would be unacceptable to show up for a 10 a.m. appointment at 11:00, but in Italy, that’s just the way the world functions.

I realize that these are all very preliminary observations, many of which are rooted in deeper cultural systems than I yet understand, but I hope to explore exactly why these differences occur and if by talking to one another, we can have a better understanding of one another as people.  Luckily, there are a few things that are exactly the same, namely the positive relationships I’ve already formed with my apartment-mates and the other study abroad students.  And who knows; maybe by may I’ll stop gasping in delighted surprise everytime I turn the corner and catch a glimpse of the beauty that is the Bay of Naples.  Maybe, but I hope not.

Bay of Naples

Sono molto felice essere in Italia; é più bella che io posso immagine.

I am very happy to be in Italy; it is more beautiful than I could have imagined.

Why?

Saturday, January 11th, 2014

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

-Mark Twain

Buzz Feed Article

Saturday, January 11th, 2014

37 Things You’ll Regret When You’re Older

blog (2)#1 and #21;)

 

 

I’m going on an adventure!

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

Hello world! Tomorrow I leave for 4-5 months to study at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. I’m insanely excited but equally as nervous and I didn’t know it was possible to be both of those things at once. I hope to post about my experiences often here. However, my posting regularly probably won’t begin until I’ve settled into my new home.

So, sorry for the short post. Nothing too interesting to share at the moment aside from pre-flight jitters and the fact that I’m having corn cakes and thick cut bacon in the morning (seriously though, I’m really going to miss those corn cakes). Longer, better, more interesting posts to come!

- Katie

Costa Rica 2013

Friday, January 3rd, 2014