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Ciao ciao, collegiettes! With Thanksgiving just two days away, & me feeling rather sentimental, considering my epic semester abroad is drawing to a close, I have decided to dedicate this week’s blog to a little-mentioned but entirely worthy component of Florence living…the new friends we have made here! Honestly, taking in every single culture-drenched moment abroad is super important, and definitely the focus of our experience. But I can’t stress enough how freaking fantastic it has been getting to know the other people on our program!

Now I know what you are thinking…you & Kristen have friends that aren’t each other? Yeah, yeah, yeah, cue the usual jokes. Despite the fact that Kristen & I are basically never apart (c’mon guys, we do live together in a foreign country…) we have actually managed to befriend some really fantastic people, both Wake Forest affiliated and not. 

This right here is one of our first nights out in Florence…perfectly captured. That’s a group of us who just instantly clicked, and have wound up having some of the craziest nights out abroad ever together. Kindly note the cluster of perfect strangers photo-bombing our group shot. Seriously, could someone fill me in on what that is about? Is it some sort of fad these days that I am unaware of? Because I swear, over 3/4 of my facebook photos are filled with strangers. Not like, people I recognize from “that bar that night”. Strangers. 

But I digress.

Here is another charming group shot of some girls that Kristen & I knew from Wake, but have become all the closer with over here in Firenze. See us making the “Go Deacs!” sign?! Friendship-former, right there. Something about being forced to get acquainted with a brand-new city where English is not the first language is an instant catalyst for bonding, so of course, the faithful Deacons had to stick together.

And finally, I bring you to one of my favorite group shots ever taken, abroad or otherwise. First of all…we are in Lucca…possibly the most darling Italian town I have ever been to. It was one of our first day trips, too, so of course it holds a special place in my heart. And, as an added bonus, it is one of the few destinations that I have journeyed to and haven’t screwed up the travel plans.

Self-depreciating humor out of the way, I’ll get on to the good stuff. This is Kristen & I with a few of our friends from “Via Mafia”. Across the Arno, in the more resedential area of Florence, is this fantastic apartment complex filled with a bunch of people from an array of schools in our program. One fateful afternoon, a friend of ours asked Kristen to play on their intramural soccer team, and the rest was history… Now, Kristen & I find ourselves trekking across the city to kick it at Via Mafia with some of the most interesting (and fun) people I have ever met on a regular basis.

And by “regular basis”, I mean over-staying our welcome 5-6 nights a week.

True, there have been several occassions where Kristen & I have “pre-gamed” just a little bit too much over there, and have woken up swearing we’d never be able to look any of them in the eye again. But sure enough, come 9pm, we find ourselves obnoxiously ringing an arbitrary buzzer on the Via Mafia door, time and time again.

Hey, would you expect anything less from us?

And so, collegiettes, I conclude this oh-so-reflective, friendhsip-lovin’ blog. Thanksgiving is almost upon us, and I couldn’t be happier to have so many new, awesome people in my life to be thankful for. Abroad wouldn’t be the same with them!

Until next week, friends!

A Communications major and Journalism minor from New Jersey, Ellie has been writing for HerCampus for almost 3 years now. Known for her sassy personality and sunny outlook on life, Ellie prides herself on her confidence and composure- especially when it comes to how she writes! Ellie is the oldest of four girls, and in her free time loves a good book, the beach, and coffee of any variety. An active writer and blogger, Ellie is so pleased to have taken over the role of Editorial Campus Correspondent for HC-WakeForest, and looks forward to another year of lots of HCLove.