Class in Bologna and weekend in Venice

Thursday, March 6th, 2008

Early Wednesday morning our class left for Bologna pronounced “boloɲa” which is a large University town. As a class we were required to create a lesson plan and do presentations on Bologna while we were there. We had a creative lesson plan, presented some history on the town and planned a field trip to Grom’s gelato shop which is said to have the best gelato in town. We went to lunch at a restaurant that our concierge recommended and were welcomed warmly and directed to the second floor of the restaurant which provided a private atmosphere. We took turns deciding what the restaurant had previously served as because there was an abundance of red and lamps which led some to think it had been an Asian restaurant. At the same time there were some metal handrails around holes in the floor and an eccentric wall texture which alluded to a potential club scene. One of the girls eventually called our waiter over to bring menus to us and he came bearing just two for our group of 15. Though we tried to make the best of the shortage of menus we eventually caved in andcec1.JPG requested two more. In the end we had a good first meal in Bologna and looked forward to our next couple of days walking around the University area, visiting Modena, the Ferrari Museum and the Porticos of San Luca which encompassed a 3 mile long stretch up a hill and over 660 arches.

After our class ended in Bologna, many of us continued on to Venice to spend the weekend. Venice was an even bigger tourist attraction than Florence (more…)

Ciao da Milano!

Tuesday, March 4th, 2008

My name is Jenepher Schulte, and I’m a finance student in my junior year. For spring semester I am studying at Universita’ Bocconi. So far studying abroad has been an exhilarating experience. I arrived January 8th and took an Italianjen1.jpg course through the university for the first month, at which I made friends with many other exchange students from around the world. Each weekend we took the train from Milan and explored another part of northern Italy. During the week between the language course and the start of the semester I went to Florence with some girls. Florence was beautiful! There was so much history and art to see there! I look forward to traveling more on the upcoming school breaks.

jen2.jpgThis is the second week of the semester and I’m enjoying my classes very much. The majority of my courses are on business topics, and I’m enjoying greatly the experience of being a student in another country.

The weather has been such a treat, at least to me a Seattle native. It’s consistently sunny and around 65 degrees. One thing I miss from Seattle is the coffee, and for that matter, the coffee was the last thing I expected to miss. An espresso and brioche is a delicious breakfast; I’ve embraced it entirely! But during that early morning class a big, warm mocha would be nice.

A presto!

Fun, Sun and Snow in Greece

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

For President’s Day Weekend I went with a couple of the girls to Greece. I had wanted to go to Greece for the longest time and that desire was only intensified after watching Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants where there are scenes of a lovely white town on the hill along the sea. I wanted to see a white city for myself. We arrived in the afternoon to a nice sunny day after settling down in our hotel room we set about exploring the area around Monastriki. We found ourselves near a cecilia1.jpgstreet that was lined with great shopping stores which we ventured into encouraged by the Sales signs on the windows. That night we went out to dinner and I had an amazing cheese pie, traditional meat plate and topped it off with dessert, a plate of warm baklava and macedonia ice cream. It was a great first meal.

Over the course of the next day we visited the Acropolis, Temple of Zeus, the new Mall in Athens and had the most delicious gyros called Thanasis recommended to me by my friend Vicky back home. She was right and we went back for another round. The only thing that put a damper on our day was that a woman who we met mentioned something about a snow storm due to approach from Siberia and we just tried to brush it off because it seemed ridiculous to think that it could really snow after the incredibly nice weather we were having.

We woke up the next day and I got what I wanted. A white city. (more…)

Adventures in Florence and Pisa

Monday, February 11th, 2008

Since this is my first blog I believe it warrants an introduction. My name is Cecilia Velazquez and I am a sophomore business student studying abroad through the Honors Program at the UW Rome Center. This is my first study abroad celia2.JPGexperience and it has definitely given me a thirst for more. Right now my classes consist of taking History, Art and Italian all of which come to life more so because I am living in it. What could be more powerful than learning about the Trevi fountain, the Vatican and the Pantheon than getting the opportunity to see them for myself?

My class went on a field trip to Florence the third weekend into the quarter to have a change of scenery and experience another city outside of Rome. Florence, like Rome is also located by the river, but the fact that it is smaller made it more manageable. On our first day there we went to lunch as a group and were able to try some of the famous Tuscan soups. Ribollita, which is a vegetable soup, was by far my favorite. I never knew that a vegetable soup could have such flavor and taste so good. One of my favorite activities that we did in Florence was climb to the top of a hill on which there was a church. The church was linked to a monastery with monks who chanted at the evening mass. While we did not arrive in time to hear them chant we were treated to an almost bird’s eye view of the city below, taking in not only the historic center and the river but also the landscape that surrounds Florence.

The one thing that surprised me most about Florence was that when we went in the markets the street vendors all spoke various languages. Depending on what language they thought we spoke they would address us differently. At one belt shopcelia1.JPG the woman running it spoke to us in English and Italian but also knew Spanish and Portuguese in addition to knowing phrases in other languages to help her in her trade. (more…)

Italian School System

Tuesday, October 30th, 2007

First of all, let me say that I do enjoy the classes here in Italy. I just think their school system is one of the most unorganized I have ever seen, and most Italians agree with me. It could be different at the other schools, but from my experience with the Universita’ di Bologna’s webpage, it is far more difficult to navigate than UW’s.

During the spring at UW I kept getting asked the same question, “What courses are you taking in Bologna?” I didn’t have an answer to that question until the last weekend in September, three days before classes actually started. The reason was because the class schedule isn’t posted until Mid August for the upcoming school year. Also, even if the classes are published, it does not necessarily mean that the hours are published. Here is where it got tricky though. Each department has their own webpage for classes and a separate webpage for hours. I was interested in taking class in the facolta’ di Economia and the facolta’ di Lettere e Filosofia. I had to go to both faculties websites to look for the classes, and to this day I have never found the page where the hours for i corsi di Economia are. (more…)

Benvenuto a Italia!

Monday, October 15th, 2007

Ciao da Bologna! I’m currently a CISB student studying abroad in Bologna, Italy. I have been here for two months already and plan on staying in Europe for a full year (Academic and Calendar). The experience so far has been great at times and not so great. When I first arrived one of my roommates picked me up at the airport and brought me back to my apartment. This was great. What was not so great was that he told me I was going to be alone for five days. I was shocked. What was I supposed to do for five days by myself? I had initially been so excited to go to Italy that I never really thought about what I would do once I got there. It finally started to sink in that I was not going to see my family or friends until Christmas, and after that one trip not until August 2008. Luckily I had a friend in Perugia that arrived a week earlier and Napoli: Katie on the Leftshe hopped on a train and came to Bologna the following day to keep me company. As the days went by I started to feel more and more comfortable in this strange city that was now becoming my home.