Kristen, Student Blogger: From the Middle of the Atlantic

5/16/2016~writing from the middle of the Atlantic Ocean
Ciao everyone! I am Kristen Rohrer and I am starting my travels to Turin, Italy for the next 6 weeks today! I have started this blog to a) provide a source for other first-time study abroad-ers/out of America-ers traveling to Italy, b) anyone interested in studying abroad with EIU’s partner, University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC), c) update my friends and family, and d) there may or may not be a scholarship involved. So I will be posting at least twice a week for the next 6 weeks!
Let’s quickly recap what I learned not to start doing at 8PM the night before your flight:
-figure out the baggage size limit or the type of luggage you can have because you’re too lazy to navigate the website
-realize you might not have the right electric converter because you simply went on Amazon and searched for an American-to-Italian converter.
-accidentally not talk to your mom for 2 weeks and than need to catch her up in the middle of it all to make it a late night for the both of you
In all honesty, there are plenty of sources online for how to pack for your destination country online. For Turin, it is known to rain a lot, they use public transportation more often than their personal cars, have weather of 70s-80s at this time, have cobblestone streets that make uncomfortable shoes undesirable and it is “more Italian” as it isn’t as touristy as Florence, Milan and Rome. It is located a quick (less than 4 hours) away from at least Milan, the coast, and France. Most everyone on my trip got connected through email and then Facebook and a messaging app called GroupMe about a couple months ago. Most all of us hope to be visiting other cities on our weekends. The classes and group flight was organized by the University of Torino and we were told we have 57 students participating this semester, from 25 different colleges and 23 different states.
Alright, so I am writing this post on my flight from Chicago to Frankfurt, Germany. It’s just over an 8 hour flight, but things are going pretty smoothly so far. My parents and sister were so kind to so spend their day driving me to O’hare for my 4 o’clock flight. Once I checked in and attempted to convince my worried mom that everything was going to be okay, I headed through TSA. Rumors had it that yesterday it took 3 hours to get through security but luckily, it only took about 20 minutes. 10 minutes was time of which it took for me to get my passport, state ID, computer, iPad and phone out of my too perfectly packed carry-on and personal bag. Once everything got packed again, I headed for my gate where I followed a girl in that I recognized from the GroupMe. We found the other 3 girls on the group flight with us and got to hang out for a couple of hours to get to know each other before getting on the plane.
Currently, on the plane, I am sitting next to 2 brothers who are a junior at NIU and a freshman at a college in Elgin. They have been super cool and fun to hang out with so I lucked out! They are touring Saudi Arabia briefly and then visiting family in Ethiopia with their parents. Maybe this is normal, but we passed right over the Statue of Liberty on our way out of the country. Too bad it was covered by clouds… But the flight info map on the wall showed us where we were at in time so my x-ray vision could pretend to see it. I will be getting to Germany at 7:15 AM where we will meet up with more USAC students and fly out to Turin at 12:05 PM. It is so crazy that I’m headed to a different country. Woohoo!!! Can’t wait to get there.

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