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Study Abroad Diaries: Firsts a Firenze

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at NYU chapter.

Buongiorno from Florence! After arriving three weeks ago, I am finally settled into somewhat of a (albeit hectic!) routine, and am so excited to be this semester’s HerCampus Study Abroad Diaries blogger. These past few weeks have been nothing short of a marvelously wild whirlwind of travel planning, gelato eating, pizza downing and—oh, yeah—, studying. While some parts of uprooting my life for four months have been as stressful as I imagined they would be (helloooo Google Maps/Google Translate) the transition overseas has been entirely manageable, and oh so much fun.

If you’re anything like me, you’ve stalked the NYU Global Sites thoroughly while procrastinating for just about any exam/paper/reading assignment. In this case, you’ve probably seen the unbelievable campus that is NYU Florence. I can personally confirm that the estate NYU casually owns over here in Italy is, in fact, as unreal as it appears on their website. For example, below is an actual view from the classroom in which my Italian language class takes place. Not a bad distraction from verb conjugations and vocab drills!

The living situations vary for everyone—some people live in homestays or on in a villa on campus, while most of us are scattered throughout the Florence city center. I live across the Arno River, further from campus than most, but check out the crazy view I get to take in every single day!

Living across the river, and about a ten to fifteen minute walk from downtown Florence (the Duomo, nightlife, etc) means I spend a lot of time exploring the city on those longer walks. It also means more authentic, cheaper food than the touristy-city center area! This photo is of hands-down the best pizza I have had in my entire life (and I’d consider myself an expert in this category. Five euro (about $6.50) for perfect crust texture, the freshest sauce and delicious cheese. If you ever find yourself in Florence, definitely go to Gusta Pizza!

Beyond pizza and the occasional trip to campus, I’ve already squeezed in a few trips, and am looking forward to many more. Florence is an amazing city because of it’s architecture, food, and Renaissance art collection, and while I’ve loved getting a feel for my host city, I am equally as excited to travel all throughout Europe this semester. Though I haven’t yet been in Florence for a month, I’ve already been to Venice, Pisa, and Lucca as well as Vienna and Salzburg. Travelling on the weekends can certainly be exhausting, but taking in the culture of a city in one weekend, or even just one day, is nothing short of thrilling.


Stephanie is in the class of 2014 at New York University studying Journalism and Dramatic Writing. She is currently a production intern at NBC News, after previously interning at ABC News. In addition to being the Campus Correspondent for Her Campus NYU, she is also an entertainment and lifestyle blogger for Seventeen Magazine and a contributing writer for USA TODAY and The Huffington Post, as well as a member of the MTV Insights team. Stephanie loves Broadway and performing in musical theatre, as well as shopping, singing, and playing the piano. Follow her NYC adventures on Twitter at @StephanieJBeach.