Celebrating holidays overseas is a rite of passage for those studying abroad. In this week's post, Connor tells us how he spent Thanksgiving in Florence and felt at home with his classmates who shared this experience—with the help of CAPA and a very special dinner!
Spending Thanksgiving while studying abroad can be bittersweet. On one hand, I missed being with my family and the traditions we have for Thanksgiving, but on the other hand I had the opportunity to spend this special day in a unique way. Despite not being with my family, I realized how lucky I was to be able to spend this special holiday in Florence with the amazing people that I have met here.
Spending this special Thanksgiving holiday in Florence.
Thanksgiving is an American holiday, so as expected people do not celebrate it in Florence. However, CAPA understood the importance of Thanksgiving for the students and organized a dinner at a nice restaurant in Santa Croce. It was free for all the students to go.
CAPA organized a Thanksgiving dinner for the students in Florence.
I did not know what to expect to have served during dinner. I was unsure if it was going to be traditional American Thanksgiving food or simply Italian food on Thanksgiving. I soon found out it was a combination of both. After arriving at 7:30pm, the food started to come out at around 7:45pm. First there were potatoes, then yams and carrots, then Italian bread, then the stuffing, and then finally the turkey. All of the food was delicious as I helped myself to seconds and even thirds. Finally, after we were all completely full, they brought out dessert. The dessert was a Florentine twist on an apple crumble pie. It was served in a muffin form with warm sauce on top of it. It was the perfect ending to the meal.
The Thanksgiving dinner was a combination of Italian food and traditional holiday fare
such as potatoes, Italian bread, stuffing, and Turkey!
As I enjoyed my meal, I realized how lucky I am to have had such a wonderful and different Thanksgiving dinner. I was surrounded by great people who I have been fortunate enough to experience this program with. It has surprised me how close I have become to the people in the program in such a short period of time. I think there is something about traveling and being in such a beautiful home like Florence that bonds people together. I know I am going to keep in touch with the friends I met here long after this semester is over. I also realized how thankful I am to have had such a great CAPA staff to help guide me along. Whether it has been helping me with classwork, giving me advice on where to eat, or even showing me directions to get to places, the CAPA staff has always been there for me. They have made me feel 10 times more comfortable living in a different country, and I do not know what I would have done without them.
It can be a bittersweet feeling to spend Thanksgiving in Florence while missing family back home,
but spending it with people you're studying abroad with can make for an unforgettable experience.
Although the holiday was different and I did miss my family and the traditions back home, CAPA made the holiday experience something I will never forget. It is natural to miss family or feel slightly homesick being away for the holiday. However, the longer I sat and ate Thanksgiving dinner with my family at CAPA the more I realized how thankful I am to be celebrating with them in the best city in the world. This Thanksgiving has been one of the best holidays I have ever experienced. Thank you to CAPA, my friends, and this city.
Connor McGlone is an official CAPA blogger for fall 2018, sharing his story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Marketing and Supply Chain Management major at University of Pittsburgh, he is studying abroad in Florence this semester.
Connor's journey continues every Tuesday so stay tuned.