EKU Family and Consumer Science Students spent winter break discovering Florence and surrounding Italian cities. The study abroad trip incorporated multiple majors and was led by Dr. Dana Bush and coordinated with Academia Europa Di Firenze.
It was the first trip outside the country for most students, and the first plane trip for many.
In the first week, they eased into Italian culture. They settled into their apartments, started learning a few Italian phrases, shopped for food at the market and cooked meals together.
Like all visitors to Florence, they were immediately mesmerized by the work of Michelangelo.
“This morning was THE morning we got to see THE David. I stared at the same piece of marble that, 500 years ago, Michelangelo touched with his own hands,” wrote Lauren Nicole Holloway.
For the Apparel, Design and Merchandising majors, another memorable event of the first week was a tour of the Salvatore Ferragamo Museum, where they learned about the legendary craftsman who customized shoes to each client’s feet.
Those studying Child Development were taken with the dedication of those who founded the Ospedale degli Innocenti, Hospital of the Innocents, when they learned the history of the former orphanage.
The Epiphany parade was visible to many students from the balcony of their apartments, and they were interested in how many countries around the world celebrate the holiday. They were particularly taken by the festivities and costumes.
Many students mixed first impressions of Italy with comparisons to life at home.
“Just today I ran across a man playing the guitar and singing, and then later on I saw a different man, lost in his own song, playing the violin,” wrote Mindi Bowling. “How I wish people freely played music on the street corner of my small town of Manchester, KY.”
Many marked the end of the first week with a hike to the Piazzale Michelangelo for a surreal view of the city they were just getting to know.
Stay tuned to learn more about their trip in future blogs!