When I stepped into my new apartment in the heart of Florence, Italy, I knew my daily routine life would be completely different from my life in America. To start, the time difference between Florence and Columbus, Ohio (my hometown) is 6 hours. This means not great sleep for me and adjusting to the jet lag the first couple of days. The noisy streets are always filled with people, with different languages being heard varying from Italian to French and more. In July and August, it is extremely hot in Europe. Last week the high was 108 degrees Fahrenheit!
To add, our apartment does not have any air conditioning. This means lots of cold showers and trying to find as many high-powered fans as possible. A major adjustment is an understatement. I learned that wearing flowy dresses and light linen clothing is extremely helpful as well! Comfortable shoes are a must, my favorite staple has been my Hoka’s.
Upon arrival, our study abroad orientation made it clear that they were there for support, but the program was mostly independent. I was lucky enough to have my friend from Ole Miss here as well, and we both learned to adjust together!
It does not have to happen overnight. Slowly but surely, I adapted a normal student life routine with grocery shopping and time for homework. As the jet lag started to go away, I started to feel comfortable in a completely different country.
When I am not in class, my favorite part of this experience is the amazing museums and historical landmarks this city has to offer. In your free time, it is very convenient to buy a ticket to any museum and explore its beauty. My favorites so far have the Pitti Palace and the Gucci Gardens! I have so many more places I want to visit and Italian culture to enjoy during my time here.