STUDENT BLOG: Leaping out of the Comfort Zone and into the Italian Mindset | SACI College of Art & Design Florence


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STUDENT BLOG: Leaping out of the Comfort Zone and into the Italian Mindset

Images by Kaitlin Jensen

(top) Italian Language Study Materials
(bottom 1) Street Art in Philadelphia
(bottom 2) Local Bookshop in Philadelphia

Andiamo in Italia! SACI Student Blogger Kaitlin Jensen describes her SACI preparations and Italian language practice before her upcoming journey to Florence.

SACI Student Bloggers give us a behind-the-scenes look at what it’s like to study at SACI and live in Florence. Follow along throughout the semester as our Spring 2020 bloggers share their experiences with the Italian culture, art, language, and more.

Leaping out of the Comfort Zone and into the Italian Mindset

The month between the end of the fall semester at my home school, Marywood University, and the start of my semester at SACI is only half over, and it has already been a whirlwind of activity. There are many reasons for this, but I have to say that the main reason may be because my decision to attend SACI in the Spring of 2020 was a last minute one!

Don’t get me wrong, I planned on attending the school from the moment I heard of it, but I was originally aiming for the fall semester of my senior year. But when I thought it over, I decided that perhaps junior year was better and decided to start my application in October. Saying I cut it close is an understatement, no doubt, but I’ve still had fun planning my trip and am in the last leg of planning it out. It’s a lot of work, which isn’t a surprise, but for someone who has never even been on a plane before, this is a leap out of my comfort zone. Not only did I have to go through the passport and visa process, which is not an easy process, but I have to grapple with the idea that I am going to be overseas for the first time in my entire life. I have been to other states, sure, but that is nothing compared to traveling to Italy. Street Art in Philadelphia

And while I am nervous, I am so much more excited for the experiences to come. Going as an Art History / Art Administration student means that this opportunity will be opening so many doors for my future, allowing me to dip my toes into countless areas of my major while learning about a culture firsthand. Knowing that I will be living in Italy, the country that my mother's entire family comes from, I have started to study the language, spending my time watching TV shows and reading up on the language and culture, not wanting to make a fool of myself. It is a lot of work, but it’s fun at the same time, being surrounded by books in Italian and picking up phrases from shows or something I read – it just adds to the excitement of the trip. 

Aside from the travel aspect, knowing that I will be gone for a while has forced me to take a step back and enjoy my home city a little more than I usually would. Philadelphia is a large city without a doubt, always bustling with businesses and filled to the brim with different stores, malls, and many other things to do, but I made a point of taking a weekend to walk around the lesser known parts of town. Stepping into the smaller shops and seeing what they had to offer helped me fully enjoy my home, something that I haven’t done in quite some time. 

Essentially, knowing I am going to leave has been fun. As I am writing this I have thirteen days until my flight, essentially two weeks, and though I feel as though I am nowhere near ready, I know that I am prepared, as I don’t think anyone ever really feels completely ready to leave their home country for the first time, especially for a few months. 

I can’t wait to see what SACI, and Italy, have to offer me!

- Kaitlin Jensen

Kaitlin Jensen is an art history/art administration student from Marywood University.
She will study at SACI in Florence during the Spring 2020 Term.


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