Life Abroad Part 3

Last blog post by Jen McPherson about studying abroad in Florence. (December 4)

Ciao Everyone!

Sadly, my time here in Florence, and at We Like Tuscany, is coming to a close. I feel like I just touched down in Rome yesterday. These 15 weeks have flown by. As excited as I am to go back home and see my family and friends, it is going to be even more difficult to say goodbye to Florence and the life I have been living since the end of August.

Italian food will never taste the same again. I have been spoiled by the excellent food and wine that Italy has to offer. I will also miss being able to have a nice glass of wine with dinner (until August when I turn 21). Never again will I get to travel to a different country each weekend with my best friends. However, if I am lucky, this will not be the last time I have a job internationally. I hope to do a great deal of traveling throughout the course of my career.

My final two trips of my semester were Switzerland and Prague. I was hoping to go skydiving in Interlaken, however my mom would not have appreciated that. I will for sure return to Interlaken to skydive in the next few years. Many of my friends decided to paraglide. They loved it and the pictures looked amazing. I decided to go skiing instead. I had not been skiing in a few years so where better to ski than the Swiss Alps. Skiing in the Swiss Alps was not originally on my bucket list, but I think it should be on everyone’s. It is an experience unlike any other.

Even the views from the train ride there and back are breathtaking. Back in the States, there are a few mountains you can see as you ski down the slopes. In Interlaken, the Alps surrounded you. Everywhere you turned, there was a new view and a new set of mountains. Younger kids were flying by me on the slopes. They were incredible. It is clear that most parents try to get their kids on the slopes as early as possible. To make the day even better, it was opening day on the slopes. We skied for about five hours and then we could no longer feel our shins or feet so we decided to head back to our hostel.

Interlaken was hands down one of my favorite trips. Sadly, I missed out on the fondue, but from pictures I saw it looked delicious. The atmosphere was so peaceful. It was very different from Florence. You did not hear cars at all hours of the night and there were trees and grass everywhere you looked. I cannot wait to go back at some point in my life.

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This past weekend, I journeyed to Prague. I could not believe that it was my final trip of the semester. I feel like I just went to Amalfi two weeks ago. We had to endure a 13 hour bus ride to get there, but it was well worth it. Prague, to me, felt like a mix between Germany and Italy.

The buildings were beautiful and you could tell the city had a rich history. The Christmas markets were beautiful. They were similar to the ones near Santa Croce here in Florence, but with a bit more of a holiday feel to them. We walked up the steep hill to see the castle. The hike was worth it to see both the castle and the incredible view of the city. Everyone also tried the famous trdelnik in Prague. Unfortunately, due to my nut allergy, I could not try it, but they smelled incredible. This trip was a great end to an amazing fall semester.

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I have nine days to soak up as much of Florence as possible. I will be eating all of my favorite foods (hopefully more than once), going to the Christmas market multiple times and grabbing last minute gifts to bring home. Everyone always says that your time abroad will be the best time of your life. I was not sure if I was going to agree with them, but after experiencing study abroad first hand, I can say with certainty they are right. I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to study abroad and I am so happy I decided to do an internship with We Like Tuscany while studying in Florence.

A huge thank you to everyone at We Like Tuscany for making my experience so great. I will stop by the office to visit the next time I am in Florence, which hopefully, will be sooner rather than later. Now, I have to attempt to fit everything I have bought into two suitcases to bring home, which will be the greatest challenge of all.

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