Study Abroad Italy: the first four days

The past four days have been one long adrenaline rush.  I alternate between complete awe and anxiety.

The program:  To be completely honest, I’ve been mislead a bit.  Whenever they mentioned the program back home they stressed the fact that we would be living with and interacting daily with the italian students.  Once I arrived however, I found out they will all be leaving within the next week for summer.  They’ll be replaced by students from another tri-state area university.  For that, I could have stayed at the Jersey shore.

My class is also a bit frustrating.  Although I’m in the most advanced course I’m still incredibly bored and feel like i’m being held back.  I know the other students are annoyed with me because I participate too much and all I worry about lately is whether or not everyone hates me.  Today I actually had to have a private cry after the professor scolded me for translating for the other students.  Its elementary school (and high school for that matter) all over again.

The Americans:  I’m with a group of about 30 students, mostly girls.  Besides making incredibly slow progress in italian, they’re all very typical of the state university we attend, subtly catty and always looking for a good time.

The worst might be (lets call her) April however.  For whatever reason, (I barely know her) she has a personal vendetta against me.  She’ll undercut or criticize anything I say, even in the most casual of conversations.  Not to mention she’s one of those “I’m so cool, I just hang out with guys and pretend to lose my lighter to talk to them” kind of girls.  She just tries too hard.

The Italians:  The city is absolutely beautiful, there are no words for the scenery or architecture.  It has this incredible charm I’ve never experienced before.  Everything and everyone moves at this slow pace which I think might be good for me.

While I have met some very nice people, the four girls I live with have to be the sweetest.  They invited us to have coffee with them on the first day and we talked for about an hour.

As far as the men, I’ve come to a very interesting and rather disappointing realization.  Italian men do not find me attractive.  Even if I’m the only one in the group who can communicate with them and hold a conversation, they’ll still go for the dumb blonde who doesn’t understand a word they’re saying (This has happened).  Perhaps the problem is they see I’m neither Italian nor the stereotypical American girl they fantasize about.

Anyways, I hope things improve.  I’ve just taken half a valium to relax after the class I had this morning and hopefully get some sleep (I haven’t in 3 days).  Wish me luck!



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