Minor: Enterprise Studies
What I learned
I learned that I could make it on my own in a totally new environment. I also learned I need to continue to try new things and broaden my experiences.
I did not bring a cell phone nor did I buy one when I got to Italy. It was challenging to communicate with my family because you often have to pay for wi-‐fi everywhere you go, and the connection is not always great. In the end I actually really liked being cell phone free for a month!
I recommend the Journey to Italy to my friends because
It was a once in a lifetime experience! The Journey to Italy program is the perfect balance between freedom and structure. You get to make your own plans and explore the cities, but you are also guided through the country and learn so much about the Italian history and culture.
My favorite day
My favorite day in Italy started on a train at 6:30 in the morning. A group of about 10 of us girls in dresses, accessories and sandals were delirious from a lack of sleep; little did we know what we had in store for us that day. After a long train ride we arrived at our destination, Cinque Terre. We split into two groups and my group started on the hike of a lifetime. We went between 5 different ‘lands’ and got to see the most beautiful views. Each land has something amazing to offer such as colorful buildings, sun bathing and delicious seafood. The 2-‐hour hike from the first to second land was worth all the sweat and dirt, even if we were unprepared for it. I will never forget that day and how much fun we had!
Why did you choose Arezzo?
First, it is in Italy. How can anyone say no to Italy? The town is gorgeous, the language is beautiful, the food is miraculous and the coffee is ridiculously strong. Having the option to take classes in both English and Italian was perfect. I wasn’t overwhelmed because the majority of my classes were in English, but I also got to take one class at the University of Siena which improved my Italian by leaps and bounds.
What is the city like?
The city looks like an old movie set! There are cobble stone streets and big parks, an ancient Roman amphitheatre, and coffee bars everywhere. At first it feels like a big city, but after you spend some time there it is actually small enough to get really comfortable in and it feels like home!
What was your favorite discovery during your stay?
Arezzo has the best markets! Every Saturday morning there is a gypsy market that sells clothes and food and household stuff. Every other Monday there was a fresh produce market in a piazza near my house. My favorite was the antique market that came the first Sunday of every month. It was so big would cover all the streets in the center of the city, tons of people would come in from out of town and Arezzo would come to life!
How was the coffee?
The coffee was unbelievable. There is nothing that compares to Italian coffee! Makes me wonder what we are drinking here.
What was your favorite weekend trip?
I ended up travelling a lot more within Italy than I expected, and there are so many beautiful places to go besides the obvious ones like Florence and Rome. I spent one weekend in Cortona, which is only about a 30 minute train ride from Arezzo. It is a city high up on a hill, where the movie “Under the Tuscan Sun” was filmed. You can hike up to a Medici fortress at the very top of the town and see out for miles. It was absolutely one of the most breath-taking views I’ve ever seen!
Italy has been my favorite country since I was a little girl for various reasons. I solidified my decision to go to Italy after I took a class over Roman Civilization my freshman year at OU and fell in love with it entirely. The OU in Arezzo program was all English-based and I hadn’t taken any Italian yet. It worked out perfectly in the end because I started picking up on a lot of the language very early on.
Arezzo will always have my heart. As a proud graduate of the first semester in Arezzo I could not be more impressed with the program and its directors. From the weekend getaways to Lake Como to the lectures in the Coliseum, Arezzo is perfect for studying and enjoying the Italian way of life. Arezzo truly allows you to live under the Tuscan sun, experience many a roman holiday, and certainly get a taste of la dolce vita. – Brittany Pirozzolo, Class of 2009
I can’t even begin to describe how much fun I had during the Journey to Italy summer program. From Rome, Florence, Arezzo, to Venice I was able to share a life changing opportunity with 23 other OU students that many will never be able to experience. “Bodies by Kirk,” as we called the class that our professor taught, was the most interesting course I have taken in my 3 years at OU, and I didn’t know a thing about art history when the trip began. Not only were we not stuck in a stuffy classroom, but we got to exercise and lose weight all throughout Italy! – Meghan Doyle, Class of 2010
The most memorable experience has to be the Medieval Joust. The event began with a parade to the Cathedral and a blessing from the Bishop. Then the contestants made their way into a piazza where they each jousted. The atmosphere was electrifying; unlike anything I had ever seen. – Michael DuPont, Class of 2010
Arezzo is an authentic Italian experience about connecting with people while learning to appreciate the beauty of long evenings spent around a table. I still dream about the pasta dish I ordered 100 times from II Poste, but the restaurant’s cast of characters had the greatest effect on me. Owner and chef, Pietro, would literally grab us off the streets and start cooking – instantly loveable with his jokes and white apron with matching hat. His family worked there as well and, all together, the European Cup, complimentary tiramisu and Italian lessons often last us well past close. – Kate Callahan, Class of 2009