A Day in the Life of a CAPA Florence Student

Nov 23, 2021 10:10:00 AM / by Alexis Miller

Want to see what a day looks like for someone studying abroad in Florence, Italy? Alexis has documented a day in her life and writes about her classes, getting firsthand views at world renowned art, learning Italian, savoring the city, and more.

I came across this quote in the Santa Maria Novella Piazza in Florence: “Every step that I have taken in my life has led me here now.” It reminds me that everything I've done has led me to this amazing opportunity to study abroad here at CAPA Florence this semester. 

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At CAPA, each class meets once a week Monday through Thursday for 3 hours. I love this schedule because it allows us to explore Italy with a long weekend! There are some classes that meet 3 times a week for an hour and 40 minutes. Having 3-hour classes was a change from what I’m used to at my home university, but the adjustment came easily. The key to helping me adjust quickly was developing a routine right away. 

Come along as I show you what a typical Tuesday looks like for me here in Florence!

Tuesdays are without a doubt my busiest day. I have 4 out of my 5 classes on this day; I go to class from 8:45am to 6:30pm. To start off the long day, I make myself some breakfast then head out to my Renaissance Art History class. I am very fortunate that my apartment is about a 5-minute walk to the CAPA Center! On my way to class, I am greeted with the beautiful sight of the Duomo right outside my apartment. I love this view because it brings me back to reality that I am living in Florence, Italy. Not many people can say that they have the opportunity to study abroad in Italy and have the beautiful sight of the Duomo right outside their apartment!  

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Caption: A picture of me with the view of Duomo outside my apartment!

My Renaissance Art History class is without a doubt my favorite class. This class is a great example of what it means to study abroad, especially in Florence. Florence is the birthplace of Renaissance Art, so what better place to learn about it. Each week, we spend the first 2 hours of class learning about a specific theme, whether it be a type of art or an artist. Once we finish our lecture/discussion, we head over to see the pieces for the last hour of class. This is truly the best part! Not many people can say that they see the pieces of art they learned about in class, let alone go see it the same day that they studied it. 

Today in class, we went to Bargello Museum, which is right around the corner from the CAPA Center. Here, we saw the famous Donatello David. It was beyond amazing to be able to see it as I remember learning about this piece back in high school. 

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Caption: Donatello’s David.

Next, I head over to my Italian class. In this class, we learn the basics of the Italian language. For me personally, it is a really nice refresher course to the Italian I learned already in high school. My teacher Ms. Ana helps us with situations that we may run into when we speak Italian outside of the classroom. Before coming here, I learned that to say “excuse me” in Italian, you would say “scusa.” However, Ms. Ana taught us that you only use “scusa” with people you are close with or people your age or younger. You never use “scusa'' with older people, instead you use “scusi.” Thank goodness Ms. Ana taught us this because I wouldn't want to offend anyone! 

After my Italian Class which ends around 1:30pm, I grab a quick lunch before my Intercultural Migration class that starts at 2pm. I didn't lie when I said it was a long day!

My go-to stop for a quick lunch is to Eby’s. Eby’s is right across the street from my apartment, and I grab an empanada and head up to my apartment for some decompression time. My favorite empanada is the spicy sausage and peppers. 

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Caption: Sausage and Pepper Empanada from Eby’s.

The Intercultural Migration class ranks up there with one my favorite classes here at CAPA. We focus on culture, migration, intercultural conflict, and cultural identities in Italy. This is one of the unique parts about the courses here at CAPA is that all classes have a focus on Italy. A fact that I learned in this class that I will never forget is how citizenship is obtained here in Italy. In the US, if you are born there you are an American citizen. In Italy, it does not matter if you are born here; your parents must have “Italian blood”. A fun fact about me is that I have dual citizenship (Italy and the United States) because my grandparents were born and raised in Italy. When I found out about the Italian citizenship process, it made me appreciate the privilege I have of obtaining Italian citizenship.

After Intercultural Migration class ends at 3pm, I head over to my final class of the day: Cross Cultural Psychology. The day is not over yet! At 6:30pm I am officially done with all my classes for the day. My favorite part of my Tuesdays is heading over to Tijuana’s for Taco Tuesday with my roommates! To me it's like a celebration of finishing the long days! We devour the pulled chicken nachos before getting to the main course, the tacos. I get the hard shell tacos stuffed with chicken, salsa, cheese, lettuce, and my favorite part--jalapenos! Trust me these tacos do not disappoint!

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Caption: Chicken Tacos from Tijuana.

Even though my days here are long, especially Tuesdays, this amazing experience of being abroad is going by so quickly! I'm savoring every moment here and those chicken tacos!

Thanks, Alexis!

Alexis Miller

Alexis Miller is an official CAPA blogger for fall 2021, sharing her story in frequent posts on CAPA World. A marketing major from Ursinus College, she is studying abroad in Florence this semester.

Alexis' journey continues all semester so stay tuned.

Learn More about the CAPA Florence Program

Topics: Florence, Italy, Local Culture