Hayley is an official CAPA blogger for fall 2017, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Communication and Media major at Merrimack College, she is studying abroad in Florence this semester.
In this week's post, Hayley interviews Dana Perez, a fellow CAPA classmate, and discovers out how she's adjusting to her semester abroad in Florence.
HAYLEY PARKER: Tell me about yourself.
DANA PEREZ: I was born in New York, but moved to Florida when I was three. I moved back to New York when I was eight and have been living there ever since. I have two sisters. My parents immigrated to the United States from Israel about 27 years ago. I'm a senior at Binghamton University with a major in human development.
HP: What made you choose Florence as your study abroad location?
DP: I visited Italy 2 summers ago with my family. I loved the culture and intimacy of Florence.
HP: What does your course schedule look like?
DP: I’m currently taking beginners Italian, cross cultural psychology, oil painting and water color.
HP: What do you hope to learn and discover during your time abroad?
DP: I hope to get away from the American culture that's embedded in me. I also hope to learn how to live like the Europeans and be more patient and calm.
HP: What excites you most about studying in Florence?
DP: That every day there is something new. There are endless possibilities of what your day can entail. Not to mention the weekends because you're “mad” close to different countries!
HP: What is one problem or issue you’ve had so far in your experience and how did you solve it?
DP: The first week was tough, especially when you enter a store and don’t know how to communicate with the people working. But that got easier once I learned more Italian and got out of my comfort zone.
HP: How do you spend your free time in Florence?
DP: During the day my roommates and I usually get lunch or walk around and explore. At night we will usually make a dinner. I also love going out in Florence and meeting new people from both the United States and Italy.
HP: Did you know anything about Florence before you arrived?
DP: A few of my friends had previously done a semester in Florence, so they told me a little bit about their experiences. I also have been to Florence before so I got to explore the city briefly before my arrival.
HP: How do you think your experience with studying abroad will affect your future career path?
DP: I hope that in my future endeavors I will cross paths with someone who has studied in Florence as well so we can connect based on our experiences. Hopefully my time in Florence will benefit me in the working world through having different cultural experiences.
HP: What is your favorite thing about Florence thus far?
DP: ANTICO NOE, ha ha! But also waking up every day and seeing the city in a new way than I did the day before!
Thanks Hayley and Dana!
Hayley's journey continues every Thursday so stay tuned.