Camden Crosby, Florence
Although Florence was not the first Italian city I studied abroad in, I have to say that it is my favorite by far. With an enchanting medieval feel, so many smiling faces, and such a beautiful language, I cannot understand how anyone could not fall in love with this place. In addition, studying abroad with the Middlebury C. V. Starr program afforded me a unique opportunity to immensely expand both my personal and academic horizons.
Although it is always intimidating to travel and live abroad, Florence quickly became a home away from home for me because of its irresistible charm, fantastic food, and all the wonderful people I was fortunate enough to meet. One of the great academic experiences I had while I was living there was participating in an internship with the Communications Strategies Lab within the University of Florence helping develop a mobile application in celebration of the 500th anniversary of Machiavelli’s The Prince. Working with and translating for professors, graduate students, and staff at the University allowed me to practice my Italian skills on a whole new level, leading to such a rewarding development of my Italian language skills.
On a more personal level, living right in the city center just a few streets away from the Duomo gave me an interesting perspective of the city because most of the famous sites were within walking distance, allowing me to encounter many tourists and locals alike. A really unforgettable moment for me during my semester came towards the end when I stopped into a teashop near Piazza della Signoria and struck up a conversation with the woman behind the counter. We got about five minutes into the exchange when I brought up the fact that I was American. The woman gave me a strange look, and told me she never would have guessed because I almost sounded Florentine. To date, that is the biggest complement I have ever gotten, and, like the rest of my experience in Florence, will stay with me forever.