The Experiences I Didn’t Know Existed

Kayla Williams is a UC Berkeley student who studied Language, Culture, Food and Business in Florence this past spring. Kayla took part in several different opportunities to interact with locals, allowing her to learn more about Florentine culture than she had ever expected. She reflects on her ability to connect with people living halfway across the world, noting that we are all the same at our core despite our perceived cultural differences. Continue reading

Home Is Where the Heart Is

This week, Santa Barbara City College student Rachel Schmidt talks about the benefits of studying abroad and getting to know a whole new city.

A little less than a year ago, shortly after announcing my desire to study abroad, I remember those around me asking, “Why Rome?”

To be honest, I didn’t know either.

Because at the time, Rome was nothing but a foreign city to me, a big city filled with cars and noise and packed buildings and people running to and fro trying to get to their next destination. So when I decided to study abroad, it was for two reasons: 1) because the program was catered towards creative writing majors, and 2) because I loved Italy. But I didn’t yet love Rome.

How my opinion changed in those three months. Continue reading

Reliving Rome’s Past, Leaving Rome’s Present

This week, University of California student Sherry Wang, participating in UCEAP’s Art, Food and Society Program in Rome, reflects on her final days abroad, contemplating the connection between past and present and how art, academics, and daily life intersect.

I leave Rome in two days; it’s a bittersweet fact. Yesterday I had my last class of the quarter — a site visit to Piazza del Campidoglio on the Capitoline Hill, designed by Michelangelo during the Renaissance — which ended at sunset looking over the city.

As I sat on the steps of the Campidoglio, the sky was darkening with clouds and at one moment it began sprinkling. I took in the Equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius standing proud in the middle, the Palazzo Senatorio (town hall) to my left, and tipped my head back to look up at the Capitoline Museum directly in front of me.  Continue reading

ACCENT Community College Scholarship: Discovering the Beauty of Rome

Today, we check back in with ACCENT Community College Scholarship recipient Jessica Nichol, who, in her wanderings, has discovered many amazing things about Rome and about herself.

There is an ancient world below Rome that is being uncovered bit by bit every day. My new Italian friend told me that it is impossible to simply put up a new building or house because they will certainly find something of the past and have to call in archaeologists to assess the site. However, I am learning that modern Rome has just as many discoveries to be made as the world below it. Continue reading

ACCENT Community College Scholarship: La Mia Famiglia

Today’s post comes from ACCENT Community College Scholarship recipient Rachael Sincavage, who, in addition to learning the importance of family in Italian culture, has found a second family of her own in the bright and unique students on her program.

My time here studying abroad in Rome has been amazing. I’ve learned so much about other cultures, made some surprising friendships, and experienced numerous memorable moments I will forever treasure. I feel truly blessed to have been able to participate in this ACCENT study abroad program. Continue reading

From Florence to Bologna

UC Berkeley student Roberto Ulloa is no stranger to our ACCENT Florence Study Center. While completing his 2017 Spring semester with ACCENT, Roberto discovered his passion for Italian language and culture. Upon returning to the States, Roberto declared a second major in Italian Studies and is now completing his degree at the University of Bologna. Roberto drops in from time to time to visit our Florence staff and reminisce about where his Italian adventure started.
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ACCENT Community College Scholarship: A Cultural Exploration

Today’s post comes from ACCENT Community College Scholarship recipient Jessica Nichol, who is spending her semester abroad in Rome with Santa Barbara City College. Jessica takes us through a day in her life as a study abroad student, including the many cultural differences between Italy and the U.S.

Touchdown! I felt the plane land in Italy late on February fourth. My heart aflutter and my stomach full of butterflies, I disembarked the plane ready to take on what this new adventure held in store for me. When at home, I decided that I would leave behind my American background and embrace the Italian lifestyle. After landing in Rome I decided to dissolve any expectations I had and welcome the experience ahead of me. Continue reading

ACCENT Community College Scholarship: Expectations and Assimilation

Today, we join Santa Barbara City College student Rachael Sincavage as she embarks on her adventures in Rome. Though she expected to immediately start blending in, Rachael found that assimilation and language learning are slow– and often stressful– processes. Determined to keep an optimistic outlook, Rachael will continue to learn and grow in Italy!

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Reviving the Spirit of Dickens: A Trip to the Old Vic

Today’s post comes from Queens University of Charlotte student Katie Farrell, who studied English literature in London this past winter. Katie reminisces about her experiences in the United Kingdom and, in particular, a fantastic theater performance of “A Christmas Carol” the group attended.

Walking down the streets of London has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember. I’ve always wanted to take the typical tourist photo of Big Ben and see the London Eye. What I never anticipated, though, was learning about the city through the eyes of authors writing generations before me. Continue reading

A Taste of Something New

Each Fall, the University of California Education Abroad Program partners with ACCENT to send three lucky groups of UC students to Barcelona, Syracuse, and Florence to study Mediterranean Politics, Food & Culture. Each group goes to all three cities in different orders, the academic content of the program altered to cater to each group’s different itinerary. Students visit small local farms, non-profits, and governing bodies, tasting the unique flavors of the Mediterranean along the way.

Join Ava Lalezarzadeh as she describes the joys and struggles of studying abroad in three different locations, and how the program helped her learn how to seize opportunities when they present themselves. Continue reading

Florence: My Second Home

This week, University of California student Rosemary Orozco discusses the many benefits of choosing a homestay for your study abroad experience.

As a Global Studies major, as well as someone studying the Italian language, choosing to live with a host family felt like the obvious decision for me. I wanted to immerse myself in Italian culture and be forced to use as much of the language as possible as often as possible. And honestly? Mission accomplished. In fact, as a level 7 student, my host parents recently decided that English shouldn’t be used at all at home. Sounds hard, right? It is. But it helps me so much to practice and to have two parental figures ready to correct me or encourage me while I attempt to express myself and use increasingly more tenses and complex sentence structures. It’s exciting! Continue reading