Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Update from Italia!

On Sunday we moved into the apartments, I'm living with a guy named Jamie. The apartment is pretty small compared to American apartments but, in relation to other Italian apartments, even the ones that the other people are staying it, it's pretty big. There are about 12 of us living "downtown", other people are living "midtown" and others are living right across the street from the school. The commute is pretty long from downtown to the school. First we get on the metro, which is basically a subway that goes in a straight line down the city, and then we take a bus for about 20 - 30 minutes depending on the traffic. The buses are pretty big, but they are hot as hell because it's really humid and they have no air conditioning and there are a ton of people.

We live right across the street from a supermarket, "supermarcato", but I haven't been there yet. The italian's have a really laid back schedule for all their stores. Everything, except a few stores, bars, resturants and caf├Ęs are closed on Sundays, and everything remains closed until about 3 on monday. So because we got here on a Saturday and moved into our apartments on a sunday, we havent had much time to stock up stuff in our apartment.

There are tons of "open markets" all around the city that sell everything, from fresh fruit to vegetables to clothes. We are going exploring today, and hopefully will find one. Supposedly there is one about 10 blocks from our apartment, so it should be pretty easy to find.

Last night me and about 6 other people went to this really cool "ristorante" and and calzones and pasta. It was a really nice place, but the best part was that when you go there on your birthday, they turn off all the lights in the entire place bring out a cake that has sparklers on it and the whole place gets really loud and erupts with clapping and this pizza maker ringing a bell.

I had my first class today, it was pretty intense. They guy is really nice, it must be really hard to hear us butcher his language, but he seems like a really good teacher. We are going to be writing a bunch of small papers describing our experience here in Italy, in Italian.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Arrival in Italia...

After hours and hours on planes and in airports I finally arrived in Torino Italy!

We took a bus from the airport to the "Hotel Roma" in downtown Torino. After resting for a little bit we went to this crazy Italian pizza place where they served us toasted bread with tomatoes on top and then pizza. The pizza was pretty good, the bread was pretty bad...

Tomorrow we are moving into the apartments. Students in USAC are placed all around the city, either near the school, in "midtown" or in downtown. I'll be living in downtown Torino, just a few blocks away from the hotel that I am at now. I don't quite know what to expect from the apartment, it will probably be small but it will be in Italy and that will be all that matters. To get to school each day I'll have to take either a bus or a above ground rail train, I haven't quite figured out which or how long it will take yet. I'll probably do that tomorrow after getting settled in the house and getting my bus pass from USAC.

So far everyone from USAC has been really nice, the program director and her assistants are very knowledgeable about they city and about the program, they seem to be real organized. It's a pretty open program as far as I can tell, they treat you like adults and give you the tools to have a good time. I haven't found very many students that are taking the Intermediate Italian, but I haven't met everyone yet. Hopefully there will be a good number of people in that class. Something I've found pretty interesting while talking to some students is that many aren't even taking an Italian language class. I met a couple people taking marketing classes and other business classes. Which I guess makes since because this University has a really high ranking business program. Hopefully they will learn enough Italian to get by for the term.

I don't know how often I'll be able to update this blog, the USAC people said that the University has Wifi so hopefully it's easy to access. It just means that I'll have to go to campus to get on the internet, which isn't too bad. Right now I'm using the WiFi at the hotel.

Overall, as far as I've seen the city is beautiful, and I've only seen about 1o or 12 blocks. There is an interesting smell (I know, it's a weird thing to say) that is everyone, I think it comes from the food. All the buildings are huge and the streets are paved with bricks, it looks like a Roman city.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Last day at Clearstar!!!

It's my last day at Clearstar Financial Credit Union!!! I had a "party" on Friday with the lending department, so that was nice, so after I'm done with my work today and have my "exit interview" then I am DONE!!! :-) YAY

Grandma also comes in today...

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Jenn in Torino!

Jenn just changed her flight to Europe so she will be arriving a week ahead of time. :-) She will be in Torino with me from about June 19th to the 28th!