Studying Abroad in Italy: Preparing for the Unpredictable
We were all very diligent with our packing. Light and comfortable clothing were a must for the warm Italian summers, or so we thought. Unfortunately, all of the students that I traveled with to Florence for a Study Abroad Program with IUSB did not pack warm enough! A drizzly, cool Florence greeted the 22 of us. The perma- cloud and rain covered Tuscany for a good four days. A group trip to Sienna was the event we all took part of, and as we huddled around our fantastic tour guide, freezing and wet, I could not help but think to myself “how could we have prepared for this?”
The first of three tips I have for being unprepared is, be prepared to be unprepared! A scattered number of students brought hoodies with them, but most were stuck with thin cardigans and long sleeved button up shirts. Luckily, because the cities we have traveled to are tourist attractions, there are many vendors that sell hoodies, umbrellas and ponchos. Buy them! Being miserable and freezing is not worth saving the 20 odd Euro you would save. Secondly, never wear sandals unless you are going out to dinner. My fellow female classmates splished and splashed their way through Sienna in cold puddles of rain and up slippery hills during our tour, I was very thankful to have my Nikes on, albeit soggy. Lastly, if you have Wi-Fi in your apartment, dorm or hotel during your Study Abroad experience, always check the weather before you leave for the day and grab your umbrella if there is even a chance for rain.
Blog post by International Programs intern Jackie Thornton