Florence Hotels Articles

August 23, 2010

The benefits of travel in your life experiences

Studying Abroad

When I returned to school at the age of 33, I had absolutely no idea of the journey I was in for. During the end of my first year in communications, I applied for and was accepted to an Art History / English Literature program. This program was to take place in Europe for the majority of a semester. Not believing my luck, I immediately made plans to get the funds together and to make this course a reality. Though sheer will, grueling work hours, and great friends, I secured my space in the course.

Our trip included touring some of the world’s most beautiful cities and towns as well as some absolutely breathtaking countryside. We touched down in London, where we stayed a week before traveling to Switzerland. Lodging in water-front student apartments in Lucerne for one week was followed by a day trip to Zurich before we traveled to Colmar, France. After a quick walk through one of the most picturesque cities I have ever seen, we boarded our bus for Paris. The course plan for the next couple of months included staying in campsites or student housing in Paris, Florence, Rome and Venice before returning to London for a final week prior flying home to Vancouver.

A significant part of the Art History course depended on a journal that was to be turned in at the end of the semester. This journal was to count for a considerable portion of our final grade. An avid reader but never an avid journal writer, I was excited to finally have an outlet to showcase my wit and natural flare with the written word. With this confident mindset, I set off chronicling the enchanting historic and celebrated places I came to visit. Knowing this opportunity was just the shot in the arm I needed, I had new appreciation for my great note-taking skills, achieved from years toiling in the secretarial pool.

In the face of our whirlwind schedule it was imperative for us to remember we were there for school, and thus, to learn. The never ending hours-long cathedral tours and museum treks helped keep us in check. During our many expeditions, I made good friends with students of various ages. Some, like me, were making life altering career changes, while others were funneling in from middle class high without a care in the world, or a major.

We were encouraged to room with different students from this mish mash of faces at one time or another in the future so we could really get the most out of it’ and meet new people. One of my first roommates, Cindy, ended up

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