Looking Back

Studying abroad is a unique, exciting and different experience for everyone. Read what one student from our Fall 2014 semester will remember most from her time in Italy at SRISA and abroad.

Natalie on SRISA’s trip to Cinque Terre

What was the high point of your semester?

It is quite difficult to pinpoint one high point in my semester. One of the

moments that I will always remember was going to Giogalto. It was the first field

trip of the semester. All the students went up to the Italian countryside to devote

the day cooking. We spent the day making a multitude of traditional Italian

dishes. Cooking tagliatelle, roasted potatoes, bruschetta, tiramisu and a few

other delicious dishes, we filled the house with laughter and excitement. I looked

around at the other students and realized these people would become my closest

friends. They were all had a passion for life and art and above all, a desire to

experience the world. Although we went to Giogalto the second week of our

semester, I believe it will always be one of the best moments during my time


What was your favorite place in Italy you visited?

My favorite place will always be Piazza Santo Spirito. I love the eclectic

restaurants where one could experience the true Italian lifestyle. Every month

there was the Santo Spirito flea market. I would go and spend hours walking

around, fascinated by the variety of antiques.

What was the most unexpected thing that happened to you this semester?

Besides making an amazing group of friends with people who shared my

passion for art and adventure, I learned how to navigate the world. Traveling is

messy and tiring and no one tells you about the gritty details. What is conveyed

through pictures never really captures the experience. The most unexpected

thing that happened this semester occurred over fall break. I traveled with three

other friends to Budapest, Prague, and Berlin. I would have to say the most

unexpected thing that occurred this semester was not one single moment. The

most surprising thing that began to happen was that I became comfortable in

being unprepared, and getting lost. We learned how to navigate the world and in

many ways gained a sense of self assurance, that we could succeed in seeing

amazing places without the help of our parents or teachers to guide us.

Whats your favorite Italian phrase?

My favorite Italian phrase is “allora.” I heard this phrase uttered whenever I

stepped outside. This mysterious word can mean a multitude of things, and

Italians use this word constantly.


Natalie in the Vatican City

Whats the best thing you ate?

The best thing I ate was either the walnut crème tortellini or the cheesy

gnocchi at Osteria Santo Spirito. My favorite dessert was Marta’s Tirmisu.

Whats something you learned this semester?

I learned that I enjoy exploring alone. This may sound a bit antisocial or

nomadic, but there is something magical about getting lost in Florence and

discovering new and interesting places. On Sundays I would go off and wander

the streets of Florence to discover artisanal shops and flea markets. I will never

forget the time I went to Santo Spirito flea market or the autumn festival at

Giardino della Orcultura. I would come across these hidden gems, places away

from the crowds in the city center.

Would you do it all again?

I would definitely do it all again. The friendships I made and teachers I met

were amazing. I learned so much about myself as well as my art practice in



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