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The McDermott Scholars Award covers all expenses of a superb four-year academic education at The University of Texas at Dallas, in concert with a diverse array of intensive extracurricular experiences, including internships, travel, and cultural enrichment.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Recounting an Italian experience

Me in front of the Pisa Tower, Pisa.

Ciao tutti!

After my three week experience across beautiful Greece, I spent the following month in Florence, Italy as part of a study abroad program (API) at the Istituto Lorenzo dei’Medici. I took a class about Florentine Renaissance and an Italian language course as well. Soon I got to realize that I was living right in front of the place where Michelangelo used to paint for the Medici family. Florence has so many things to offer to art fans, that you will find in need of more time to explore and get lost in the numerous churches, palaces and even across the city wondering around. Botticelli, Michelangelo and Rafaello’s most renowned works are all in display at the different museums of the once called Republicca Fiorentina.

Regione Toscana (San Gimignano)

My experience began in Rome with an orientation weekend, visiting the highlights of this fascinating and ancient city. During the weekends, I got the opportunity to explore amazing places such as Venezia, Pisa, Cinque Terre, and Regione Toscana (Siena, San Gimignano, Montepulciano)

Ponte Vecchio, Florence

As I mentioned before, this past summer made me think of the lifestyles and differences existing between the two continents. I felt like I was right at home, but at the same time, many differences can be found between both the old and new worlds (as historians used to called our continents) Daily activities such as going to the mercato centrale (market) every morning to pick breakfast, or even the aperitivo time during the afternoons allowed me to feel much more like a local. There is neither need for cars nor any transportation system at all since everything is within walking distance. In so many ways, it is so similar to my hometown (Guanajuato, Mexico) but at the same time there were countless things to discover and enjoy. Every day there was something new to do or to see.

Vernazza, Cinque Terre

Another thing that made this summer such a wonderful journey is related to the friendships I made and all the people I met. Everybody enjoyed this time in many different ways, but in the end all of us coincided that Italy is a magic place, where time has stopped but allowing modernity to come and cherish the magnificent works of art created. It has been one of the most remarkable experiences I have ever had; I learned so much about myself and a new host culture that opened its doors allowing me to explore all it has to offer. It was hard to say goodbye to Florence, but I keep so many good memories from it that it seems like yesterday when everything happened.

Firenze (Florence), a view from the top of the city.

Grazie mille per tutto e ciao!

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