Midterm Break

What has made my study abroad experience even more special was that we are given a week long break during the middle of the semester. It serves as a great time for us to travel for a longer period of time with new friends we have made on the trip, and it is also a great time for our families to be able to travel over here. It is so amazing to be able to see our families and have the opportunity to spend some time with them. Several students’ families came over to visit them for the break and some went to Paris and different cities throughout Italy. Another group of students went to London, Ireland, and Switzerland. My parents decided to come and visit me for the midterm break and I loved having some time to travel with them and experience a small piece of Europe together. My parents first flew into Rome and I took a train from Albano to Rome to see them. Since we only had one day in Rome, I took them to my favorite part of the city. I took them to The Colosseum because it is my favorite part of the ancient Roman Empire that still stands today. We took a tour of The Colosseum and I got to tell them as much about the structure that I had learned so far. For the rest of the midterm break, we decided to travel outside of Italy. I have always wanted to travel to Germany and so my family and I decided to travel there. We first flew into Munich and spent two days there. I loved Germany from the beginning, it is so beautiful and I love the language and the people are so nice. In Munich we rented a car so that we could travel throughout southern Germany via their famous autobahn. This may have been my favorite part about the break, it was amazing to see Germany’s beautiful countryside and driving through the small towns along the way to our next destination. We traveled from Munich to Rothenburg and stayed one night there. My parents actually have artwork of Rothenburg hanging in our living room that my dad’s mom brought back from Germany. I was an amazing experience to get to see it in real life. From Rothenburg we drove to Wurzberg. I loved Wurzberg in particular because it is mainly a college town and I was fun to get to talk to a lot of the university students I met in restaurants and stores. From there we drove to Frankfurt where my dad was born, I loved a lot of the shopping Frankfurt it was also wonderful to see where my dad was born. He hasn’t been back to Frankfurt since he left when he was one year old. So it was great to go to Frankfurt with him and my mom. Lastly we drove from Frankfurt to Prague, Czech Republic. I was blown away by the beauty of Prague. Before going to Prague, I did not much, if anything at all, about the city. And it was such an adventure to experience a new culture like that. I am so thankful that I got to go to a country that before this semester I would have never figured I would have visited.

Rothenburg, Germany

Rothenburg, Germany

A Bittersweet Reunion

The Joseph S. Bruno Program has offered me more opportunities than I had ever imagined it would in a matter of a few short weeks. What seemed an eternity away when we first arrived has flown by and I cannot believe our time here is closing fast! It seems as if we just arrived a few short weeks ago and now we are preparing to wrap up our semester in the beautiful country of Italy.

Our group the first week at the Palace with some professors

Our group with some professors the first week at the Palace

As I ponder over what my fondest memories from the trip are, I can’t help but think about the wonderful people I have had the blessing and opportunity to become close to over the past twelve weeks. Our group of eighteen has bonded in ways I would have never though imaginable in our short time together. We have become one big family and not being with this incredible group everyday is going to be weird! While most of us have only known each other for a short time, I can tell we will be lifelong friends.

Enjoying new friendship

Enjoying new friendships

It is such a bittersweet moment because I know we are all anxious and ready to get home to our friends and families, but at the same time realize that there is so much about Italy that we have fallen in love with and will miss dearly. I can honestly say I will miss this place and hope this isn’t the last I will see of this country.

A few of us girls enjoying an Aperitivo

A few of us girls enjoying an aperitivo – an Italian specialty

I spent the whole first half of the trip ready to go home and be with my family again and now I am spending the whole second half in regret that I have to leave so soon. This experience has definitely been life changing for me and I recommend studying abroad to anyone who has the opportunity. It has helped me grow both personally and professionally and I can’t wait to get back to see how it will impact my future decisions.

Trip to Consultario during our Practicum week

Trip to Consultario during our Practicum week

As our time here draws nearer everyday, my goal is to cram as much bonding time in as possible and cherish every moment I have left in this beautiful place with these amazing people!


~ Emily Milford ~

Gondolas and Leather

Wow! Everyone at the palace is shocked that we are already finished with week nine! We only have three short weeks left here in Italy and then it is back to the United States we go. While it is sad that our study abroad adventures are coming to an end soon, this past week was anything but gloomy!

The entire group took a field trip to Venice and Florence that lasted just over a week. Our first day in Venice, we took a boat ride tour of the Grand Canal and I can honestly say it was breathtaking. Everyone loved how the only way to get around the city was by boat! And we were all shocked that this city is literally built on water! We continued each day to explore the beautiful city and also visit two more towns, Murano and Burano. Murano is known for their amazing glass blowing and Burano is famous for the colorful houses that line the canals running through the town. After a few days in Venice, we headed over to Florence.

During our Grand Canal Tour!

During our Grand Canal tour!

Florence was equally as beautiful but it was a rough trip for everyone’s wallets! LEATHER LEATHER LEATHER!  We went to both leather markets each day and I think between all eighteen of us Chigi Babies we spent way more then we all had hoped. Florence was a huge city similar to Rome, so being able to spend about five days there to just explore was wonderful. I am so thankful we were able to visit both cities during our semester abroad and loved everything about Venice and Florence!


Megan Milam