Allyson Barnes

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How Studying Abroad in Florence Left Its Mark on Me

Aug 21, 2018 10:30:00 AM / by Allyson Barnes

Allyson Barnes

Allyson Barnes is an official CAPA blogger for summer 2018, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. An Anthropology, Evolutionary Biology and Ecology, and Studio Arts major at University of Colorado - Boulder, she is studying abroad in Florence this semester.

In her last post, Allyson reflects on her study abroad experience in Florence through all the changes and growth, as well as how the city has left its mark on her overall outlook and desire to work with people.

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Stepping off that plane after an agonizingly long flight home was bittersweet. My adventure was over. But I was welcomed with open arms, literally, from my entire family. I was able to sleep in my own bed, be with my dogs, and have American food again. Yet I found myself constantly thinking about what I missed in Italy. It had become a part of me, and me a part of it. I was able to find myself in that city, and I found a place. I knew the streets like the back of my hand by the end of my adventure. I knew public transportation like never before. I understood what adaptation by necessity truly meant, and how utterly difficult, yet so worth it, it was. I was still the same Ally in many ways, and yet in others I was new.

A Group Photo with My Friends in FlorenceA group photo with friends from Florence! 

Being home I have certainly noticed some changes in me, luckily all for the best. I am so much more open about everything and so hungry to learn about anything I can. I want something to constantly surprise me so that I am challenged to learn more and think deeper about everything from varying points of view. I wouldn’t have done any of that or felt this way if I hadn’t decided to study abroad. It changed me, and I couldn’t be more grateful.

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Posted in: Florence, Italy, Reflection, Personal Learning

Observing Italian Norms: La Bella Figura

Aug 9, 2018 1:30:00 PM / by Allyson Barnes

Allyson Barnes

Allyson Barnes is an official CAPA blogger for summer 2018, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. An Anthropology, Evolutionary Biology and Ecology, and Studio Arts major at University of Colorado - Boulder, she is studying abroad in Florence this semester.

In this week's post, Allyson draws from her classes and observations of Italian dressing and explains the philosophy of La Bella Figura.

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An interesting thing about being abroad is you notice not just the big differences between your home and the new country you are in, but also the slight cultural differences such as clothing styles, eating preferences, and other social norms.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Florence_Summer2018_From Allyson Barnes - Looking Far into Florence

As an anthropology student, I have always loved analyzing the people around me, as strange as that may sound. I enjoy finding the little things that really make a person who they are. No matter what it may be, there are certain factors that define someone and I love getting to figure out what they are.

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Posted in: Florence, Italy, Cultural Insights, Cultural Differences

Coping with Mental Health While Abroad

Aug 1, 2018 4:30:00 PM / by Allyson Barnes

Allyson Barnes

Allyson Barnes is an official CAPA blogger for summer 2018, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. An Anthropology, Evolutionary Biology and Ecology, and Studio Arts major at University of Colorado Boulder, she is studying abroad in Florence this semester.

In this week's post, Allyson opens up about mental health and shares 4 ways she coped while studying abroad.

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Going abroad is something that has become somewhat of a staple for the American student. It’s broadcasted all over campus and it is so strongly encouraged for students of any major. As an anthropology major, finding somewhere to go was easy, but it was a matter of finding somewhere that I wanted to go and where I felt safe and okay going.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Florence_Summer2018_From Allyson Barnes - With My RoommatesMe and my awesome roommates!

I am one of many people with diagnosed severe anxiety and depression and I am being medicated for it. The stigma in our society is real and it exists, and it makes it difficult to talk about sometimes but I know that it is necessary. As a study abroad student, that poses an extra difficulty for me when making decisions about my program location, length abroad, etc...

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Posted in: Florence, Italy, Health Abroad

4 Tips for Traveling by Train in Europe

Jul 24, 2018 10:30:00 AM / by Allyson Barnes

Allyson Barnes

Allyson Barnes is an official CAPA blogger for summer 2018, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. An Anthropology, Evolutionary Biology and Ecology, and Studio Arts major at University of Colorado Boulder, she is studying abroad in Florence this semester.

In this week's post, Allyson shares an obstacle she experienced while traveling in Italy and lists 4 things to do when you travel in Europe by train.

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I was actually lucky enough to be able to travel outside of Florence and even outside of Italy during my study abroad trip. First I would love to share about some of the things I learned from the places I visited and some of the amazing sights, but I would also like to do a brief tips and tricks for traveling in Europe by train, because my friends and I had our fair share of troubles.

On a Boating Adventure in CapriI had a chance to go with my friends from Florence on a boating adventure in Capri.

My friends and I made quite the effort to plan an elaborate trip to the Amalfi Coast for a weekend. The Amalfi Coast is on the southern coast of Italy and it is fairly close to the luxury island of Capri. We stayed at a beautiful Airbnb overlooking the water and had everything we needed for a relaxing, yet fun weekend. We even booked a yacht for a day to tour around the island of Capri, see the caves, and even go snorkeling! It was such an amazing experience. We were a large group of people, so coordinating was difficult. I always recommend traveling in smaller groups if possible.

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Posted in: Florence, Italy, Travel, Tips

Making Friends Abroad and My Favorite Encounter with a Local in Florence

Jul 17, 2018 10:30:00 AM / by Allyson Barnes

Allyson Barnes

Allyson Barnes is an official CAPA blogger for summer 2018, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. An Anthropology, Evolutionary Biology and Ecology, and Studio Arts major at University of Colorado Boulder, she is studying abroad in Florence this semester.

In this week's post, Allyson shares how her desire to converse in Italian led her to become a regular at a cafe and eventually experiencing her favorite local encounter in Florence.

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As an American studying abroad, it can be not only difficult, but also scary, to become connected with the locals in your host country. They are “different” and their culture is brand new to what you are used to. For me that gave all the more intrigue. I was so interested in what was categorized as different. The new cultures, the new perspectives, anything to give me new experiences and new outlooks on life.

Having Gelato by Ponte VecchioHaving some tasty gelato by Ponte Vecchio.

Although I had hoped to merge myself with the lives of Italians here in Florence, I never really expected to make friends like I did. After all, it was only a 6-week program and I was traveling outside of Florence on weekends. But I became a regular at a little cafe down our little street, Via Faenza, which led me to a favorite encounter.

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Taking Art Classes in Florence is a Dream Come True

Jul 10, 2018 10:30:00 AM / by Allyson Barnes

Allyson Barnes

Allyson Barnes is an official CAPA blogger for summer 2018, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. An Anthropology, Evolutionary Biology and Ecology, and Studio Arts major at University of Colorado - Boulder, she is studying abroad in Florence this semester.

In this week's post, Allyson writes about fulfilling her passion and practice of art in a prominent and historic art city like Florence.

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My favorite class here in Florence this summer by far has been my drawing class. I love art, which is why I picked it up as another major. I am so passionate about my art and so getting to practice my art in the art capital of the world was just a dream come true.

Ponte Vecchio ArtworkTrying pen and ink drawings of the Ponte Vecchio.

In the class we got to not only explore art practices in the classroom and studio, but we also took outings all around the city to explore and find sculptures to base our drawing on. It was a great way to practice our techniques and also a way for us explore the wonderful city that we are in. Jaime was our professor and she did a wonderful job. She was so passionate about everything, including whatever she taught us, that it always made us more interested in the topics. She was always someone I enjoyed listening to.

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Posted in: Florence, Italy, Art Abroad, Academics Abroad

A Cooking Class and Bonding Experience in Florence

Jul 4, 2018 10:30:00 AM / by Allyson Barnes

Allyson Barnes

Allyson Barnes is an official CAPA blogger for summer 2018, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. An Anthropology, Evolutionary Biology and Ecology, and Studio Arts major at University of Colorado - Boulder, she is studying abroad in Florence this semester.

In this week's post, Allyson attends a My Global City cooking class with her roommates in Florence and learns how to make Italian dishes from scratch.

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As an adventurous person everywhere except for the kitchen, I was excited to try my hand at cooking some traditional Italian dishes when I made my journey to Florence. I was over the moon that I would not only be able to try that in my apartment, but also in an actual cooking class! Now, to give you some background on me, I am probably the worst cook you could ever meet. I once ruined a perfectly good can of soup trying to heat it up on the stove. Don’t ask me how, I don’t even know. I just have a knack for ruining foods that I attempt to cook. Needless to say, I was nervous for the class and the fact that I would have to learn how to make 3 courses of pasta dishes from scratch.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Florence_Summer2018_From Allyson Barnes - At a Cooking ClassReady to get started in this cooking class!

This was my My Global City experience. Two of my roommates signed up for the cooking class with me and I couldn’t recommend it more to someone looking for one of those unique hands-on experiences.

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Posted in: Florence, Italy, My Global City, Food in Florence

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