My name is Angela, and I’m a sophomore. My first year at Bama was fun, but I couldn’t help feel like I was missing out on something bigger than the typical college experience offered there. That’s when I turned to looking at study abroad programs. Figuring out where I wanted to study wasn’t that much of a challenge – I took 2 semesters of Italian at Bama, so naturally I wanted to study in Italy. Thankfully, Bama has a very large range of study abroad programs, so finding one in Italy was no trouble at all. After doing hours of research and looking up reviews, I decided to apply to go to the Lorenzo de’ Medici School in Florence. As May came around, I received my acceptance letter, and my excitement for studying in Florence exponentially increased ever since. To prepare for my study abroad experience, I made sure everything was going according to plan – I got my Visa, I packed a decent amount of clothes (some might call it over-packing, but I am convinced that I need it all), and spent as much time as possible with my friends that I would not see for over 3 months. Of course I felt sad at times to think that I wouldn’t be as connected to my best friends, my boyfriend, and my family, but then I realized what a wonderful semester it is going to be and how grateful I am for the opportunity that not many college students take advantage of. I look forward to making a lot of new friends in Italy that I can stay in touch with after the program ends, but what I look forward to most is completely immersing myself in the Italian culture and language. I want to become fluent and become a “local” at the cafes near my apartment. I want to effortlessly have a conversation with an Italian while eating pasta and pizza and gelato. I want to ride on the back of a vespa at night, exploring the city and all that it has to offer. All of these expectations of mine, of course, are to be taken with a grain of salt, although it would be really cool if I could achieve them all. My point is that I want to study in Italy to educate myself in a culture that is completely different from the one in America, one that is filled with odd customs and traditions, one where I will be seen as “a tourist” for the first few weeks, one that will eventually become my home away from home. I am so excited to embark on this journey and am even more excited to start having the adventures of a lifetime in one of the most beautiful cities on earth. Florence, here I come.