Kristen, Student Blogger: Writing from the Middle of my First Class

I’m in Italy! Halfway around the world! Actually only 4,498 miles away from Chicago. Which is not even a quarter around the world. I feel so far away though! So much has happened in the past few days.

Kristen05.30

The rest of my trip to Italy:

The Chicago girls met up with more study abroad students once we got to Germany. On the flight to Torino, I was lucky enough to have a nice man from Munich sit next to me. He was reading the paper that had a story on JFK’s sister. I must have been somehow screaming that I was American, because after I finished my photo session of the Alps, he started taking to me about the story. I am no history enthusiast but I thought it was interesting how quickly he picked up on the fact that I was American without me even talking. The man was on his way to Torino to visit he daughter and grand-daughter. His grand-daughter was participating in a theatrical production the upcoming weekend. He and his wife suggested multiple places to go in Torino that we must not miss.

Once we got to Torino we stuffed all of our luggage onto a charter bus, saw a little bit of the city on our way in, checked into our group hotel rooms and went to our first Italian meal. The goals of the USAC coordinators was to keep us awake to help us adjust to the time change. We kept moving all night until about 9 when we were finally able to go to bed. We had pizza on the top floor of the restaurant that sort looked over a small alley of city of life. Italians hate to waste food but pizza was served endlessly at the restaurant. We were told to make sure to tell them to stop making pizza when we were full. Extremely tired but still excited, we all participated in an hour long walking tour around the downtown area afterwards. There is just so much history just in downtown Torino. One of the first few things we noticed on our first couple of days here was how clean the streets are though. I swear people come out at night to sweep the sidewalks and streets to keep them looking nice. If it isn’t the secret street cleaners I think it must be the lack of trees, with them only being located in the parks. Torino is known for being the prior capitol of Italy and for having “The Shroud”, Jesus’s cloth that he was wrapped upon burial. Kristen05.30.04          Move-in to our apartments came the next day. I have three roommates in downtown Torino. All the students are pretty spread out across the city. Some live by the school (in the southern outskirts of town) and then there is also a midtown location of apartments. Our housing coordinator negotiated with landlords across the city to get our housing assignments. So I am living in one of the nicer apartments, which has 3 rooms, on the 2nd floor, with a 7 minute walk to the train and a 5 minute walk to one of the main, local shopping streets, known as “Garibaldi”. It is far enough away to be away from the busy and loud streets. I can keep my window open at night, as air conditioning is not a utility of Italy apparently. We are right across the street from a market that offers for Italy, a wide variety of products but for an American, growing up with a Wal-Mart, a very limited amount of food and paper products. So far though, the city is great, my roommates are great and we have an endless list of things we want to accomplish before we leave here.

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