Fellow Longhorn and future Learning Tuscany student,
You may be reading this and be one of two kinds of people: a) you are interested in LT and you are getting ahead on your research or b) you have been accepted to LT and you discovered our blog. Either way, welcome! I hope this provides to be helpful in this time of contemplation and/or excitement. Rest assured, you are going to embark on the most wonderful adventures through the LT program all with the help of dear (Indi)Ann Johns and other faculty that join you. However, they are not the only resources you get – along with ISOS (trust me, you’ll understand that soon) – but fellow students like myself are some of the best resources as well; there are some pieces of advice I would like to share with you.
- Try the honey flavored cheese (pecorino al miele), even if you might not like cheese. Go on a hike to Mt Mammi, even if you might not hike the most. Try the cheese flavored gelato, even if you think it sounds weird. (Yes, it exists, but only sometimes.) Try new things. I have found that some of my most cherished memories from this trip are during times that I took a chance.
- Go outside. As much as you can! Let’s get real, how many times will life offer the beautiful Tuscan countryside to you? Don’t be afraid to go sketch atop the Arches, or grab a cappuccino and do some homework at Bar Maro. Not only are you surrounded by an incredible place, but you are also going to encounter some of the most charming locals here in Casti.
- Put your phone down. Yes, I said it. That treacherous oh-so addictive and controlling 2” x 4” piece of metal and plastic. I know just reading those words will make you cringe, but in time you will understand. I am guilty of having my phone with me at all times, but after the first few days here in Casti and Santi, there is just so much more to experience than what facebook and twitter updates have to offer.
- Make the most out of your time here with your peers. During my time here in Casti, I have gotten to know the most genuine, talented, intelligent and compassionate group of people. The people you meet on this program will definitely make your trip so much more of an experience. From the small moments, like going out to CoCo Palm after dinner, and to the bigger moments, like planning weekend trips to Venice or Cinque Terre, you get to opportunity to make memories that will last a lifetime with such incredible people.
I think one of your best resources is getting to know what this experience is like through the eyes of students, so I hope my small list – and our blog – finds you well. If you ever find yourself wondering about this or that, don’t be afraid to talk to Ann! She is an expert at all things Learning Tuscany; from what to do when there is a train strike, to the best gelato spots in Arezzo and more. She is just amazing over all. Rest assured, you will have an amazing time in the Learning Tuscany program.
Buon viaggio e auguri,