Hannah Hardenbergh is an official CAPA blogger for summer 2018, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. An American History and Literature major at Harvard College, she is studying abroad in Florence this semester.
In her last post, Hannah reflects on her choice to study abroad in the summer and how she gained confidence to reach past cultural barriers to connect with locals and Florence's rich art and history.
At first, I thought studying abroad didn’t really fit into my life as a student-athlete in college. As a Nordic skier, it’s hard to take more than a month off from training, and quite challenging to take a semester abroad and have a successful training year in preparation for the racing season. Though it’s been done, I simply wanted to focus on training, academics, and social events on campus at Harvard. However, this past year I had been nursing a foot injury, and when I found out about CAPA’s 6-week program, I decided that it would be a really great opportunity to study abroad while recuperating from my injury. I wasn’t 100% sure about the trip, even as I boarded the plane.
My new study abroad friend, Taylor, and I in Siena.
My friends and roommates had consulting and campaigning jobs lined up for the summer in hopes of finding a way to enter job markets for a future career, and meanwhile it seemed like I was dropping everything and fleeing to look at sculptures and arches for a while. However, I had forgotten that, despite constantly comparing myself to others, indulging in art and culture is what I have loved doing in my classes all along, and living in a new and exciting culture abroad was exactly what I wanted to be doing.Continue Reading