Italy Update #2! – Off-Campus Study


Hello again! It’s been a while since I last wrote, so there’s a lot to catch up on!

Week 4 

This weekend, I went on a quick trip to Rome with a friend from back home who is also studying in Milan but through a different program. We took a high-speed train bright and early on Saturday morning to visit Galleria Colona, the Colosseum, and St. Peter’s Basilica. That night we ate the most incredible truffle ravioli I’ve ever had. Then, after staying in a hostel for the first time, we saw the Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon before taking the train back! 

That following Monday we finally began our official classes! In addition to Italian, I’m taking an art history class on Leonardo da Vinci, Strategic Management, and a history class on Italian cities. After my first week of class, I traveled to Nice, France to meet up with my friends Macy and Tatiana from Hope. The weather was gorgeous & the city was beautiful! Although we didn’t plan it, Carnival began that weekend, so we were able to attend the opening night. It was filled with floats, music, and dancing.

Week 5

Classes continued this week and on Wednesday my Italian cities history class took a field trip around Milan. One of the first places we stopped was the Roman ruins of the building where Constantine legalized Christianity in 313 AD. We also visited Sant’ambrogio Basilica which was just a short walk away. 

This week also happened to be Milan Fashion Week. While I am not a big fashionista per se, there were many celebrities in town which was pretty exciting. Anna and I tried (twice) to visit a show to see some celebrities, but due to class and the torrential rain, we weren’t very successful. 

Although I am so grateful for the travel I have been able to do, I wanted to stay near Milan for the weekend to get some rest. So, I took a day trip with my friend Ingrid to Verona. We saw several art galleries and museums and climbed several hundred steps up the Lamberti Tower to get an incredible view of the city. We even got to see Juliet’s balcony from Shakespeare!

Week 6  

On Tuesday, I participated in another event that IES organized – a pasta-making class! We learned how to knead the dough before learning how to put it into different shapes. They even provided some ricotta cheese to make ravioli. It was so fun! 

This weekend I got to go back to my Dutch roots! On Thursday I flew to Amsterdam with my friend, Olivia, from IES. To begin the trip, I visited Corrie ten Boom’s house in Harlem, which is about an hour outside of Amsterdam. I had read her book, The Hiding Place, in middle school so it was incredibly surreal to be able to stand in the place I had read so much about. If you’re not familiar with her incredible story, I encourage you to check it out! Later that afternoon, we visited the Van Gogh Museum, the Rijksmuseum, and walked passed Anne Frank’s House, too. Before we left on Saturday, I did a biking tour through Amsterdam and it might have been my favorite thing I’ve done abroad so far! It was a beautiful day to see a wonderful city.

Week 7  

I spent most of this week relaxing & catching up on homework. On Wednesday, Anna and I explored Chinatown for her birthday and I tried boba for the first time – it was not my favorite, but I’m glad I tried it. We didn’t have class on Friday this week so I went to the Natural History Museum in Milan for the afternoon. Later that evening, I spontaneously bought train tickets to Lake Garda for the following day. It was my first official solo trip and I’m so glad I went! Although it was a cloudy day, the city was beautiful. I’m so grateful to have explored the castle and Roman ruins there – paired with the Swiss Alps in the background, it was a breathtaking view. 

If you’ve made it this far, thanks for recapping the last few weeks with me! I have some more exciting adventures planned, so stay tuned! But for now, ciao!


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