Coming into this journey I had no expectations as to how everything will plan out, whether it involved getting accustomed to the culture, my surroundings or people themselves. Travelling throughout my life from one place to another, I would say I had the preparation to experience something new. Starting this journey with only knowing four out of the 28 people, I was excited for the opportunity to make new friends and create memories with them.
I had the chance to get to know mostly everyone within the first couple of weeks of our program. We had a welcome lunch where we got to meet formally and shared an amazing three course meal and wine, we also had a couple of all day tours set up to learn more about the city. Spending all day, eating, exploring, going out, and travelling together had a big impact on creating a strong bond between all of us. You learn to take care of one another just like family does, I can comfortably say that I have gained friends for life.
Urbino is such a small city that is a home to mostly Students from all over Italy, therefore throughout our stay here we occasionally interact with familiar Italian faces that we see at the the cafeteria, the streets, the University, and the one and only night club, “Bosom”. These circumstances made it easier to connect with Italian students and become close with them even with the language barrier.
Not too many students speak the English language here, but I was surprised to find out that a large portion of students speak Spanish very well. Coming from San Antonio, Texas, %95 of our group speaks Spanish making it easier to communicate with one another.
We had the pleasure of sharing our dorms with a couple of other study abroad groups. First, we got three students from England, they were studying Italian and Spanish. Unfortunately, they only had two weeks to spend with us but I can assure you we made the best out of it. Secondly, we had a huge group of architecture students all the way from Canada. It was very interesting for us to exchange ideas and learn more about the different techniques of teaching they have had, as well as their own experience in Italy and how they perceive it.
I am more than glad for the convenience of spending my study abroad in such a small city like Urbino with such amazing people that I call my second family. A small city helps you relate more to the surroundings and the people occupying them making it feel like a second home. I cannot wait to make the best of memories with the time I have left.