Howdy my name is Karina Buoy!
I am studying at Ca’ Foscari University in Venice Italy! I came to Europe on September 1st so you can say that it has almost been an entire month living abroad. Here are some of my experiences within this past month. My room mates and I came 2 weeks early so we could travel (but that’s another story)!
Coming to Venice was a ruckus. It was crowded but just as beautiful as I imagined. When we arrived they were having a festival and all of the water taxis from the airport were closed. Luckily all of my room mates and I arrived around the same time so we were able to figure it out together. We ended up taking a bus and we found a guy with a boat to take us near our apartment.. Keep in mind in Venice it is ONLY walking. The first two days on being in Venice felt like the longest days ever. We were running around to figure out how to do our immigration and it just felt like forever. On the upside our apartment in Venice (in the San Marco area) is cute, we were told that it was on the second floor and we were like cool! But 2nd floor here means 3rd floor to us. So we had to carry our huge luggage up 3 flights of stairs. Every day I make that climb at least 2-3 times!
When we had our first welcome day around 2 weeks after we got there it was about 3 days before actual class started and to be honest it was a mess. So here the classes are you just attend and whatever happens happens. The only grade is the final and although some of the classes are in English your teacher will have a strong accent and it’s difficult to understand. But good thing is that they post the slides and all the information online. Once class actually started we found an international counselor and she helped more than you could’ve imagined. She turned the entire thing around and explained why the school was like this. She answers any questions we have and then that is when I finally understood the school system. It does take a little getting used to but isn’t that just like anytime you do something? So yeah in the beginning it was quite difficult but just ask around (A LOT) and you will get the hang of it!
The city here in Venice itself is very touristy. There are tons of people walking the streets every day and let me tell you the streets are not that big. On the weekends it is worse but during the week it is manageable. My favorite thing though about Venice itself is the wonderful architecture in the buildings are so beautiful! My 30 minute walk to class every day is filled with great scenery! I pass by the farmers market and the fish market every morning. The country Italy itself, is a culture shock. The kids here dress up for class every day and smoke cigs. I think just in Europe in general is a normal thing. It took a little bit getting used to but now since I feel all settled in I am getting the hang of it. I have found my way to class without getting lost, I am taking advantage of my resources I have here, and most important I am enjoying this beautiful city. I do not know if I will ever feel like not a tourist because every day brings me something new!
Although in the last paragraphs I talked about my troubles, I want to say that it is only the beginning and my life here has already turned around. Every day when I explore the city I see the different cultures of all the different people (tourist or not) who come and are doing the same things that I am doing. Not to mention people here has SO many dogs. I mean every day I see so many dogs and they are all so cute. The most precious things I have ever seen some people walking them, rolling them in a stroller or carrying them like a baby! I have been abroad for a little bit and I can see myself adjusting to the new way of life here! It is a wonderful thing to see because I know that I am capable to adjusting to new life changing experiences.
So some tips, do not be discourage when you immerse yourself into a new world because in the end wonderful things will happen. It might be hard at first but it ALWAYS gets better. Life as a kind of Venetian is turning out well and I just wish the days would go by slower. I felt like it was just yesterday when I got here! If you are studying abroad and reading this and have any questions contact me!! I can help.