May 15, 2011,
The first flight went well. I flew from Detroit to Montreal. It was the smallest plane I’ve been on yet. There are some people you just have to glance at once and you think “Yep, they’re definitely Canadian.” It made me wonder if there was anything about me that made Canadians think “Yep, she’s definitely American.” 95% of the passengers on the plane were older folks. I couldn’t tell exactly how many of them weren’t wearing deodorant, but it smelled like quite a few! I got used to it quickly. The majority of the passengers spoke French. The girl next to me was closer to my age. She was really nice and conversational, and she spoke English well. I watched Black Swan but only got halfway through it. When we landed at the Montreal airport, I had a layover for an hour or so. I honestly thought Canadian people spoke English just as often as we do. They speak French. All the time, no matter what. Unless addressed by someone who speaks English. Even their TVs are in French. I mean, I knew they spoke both French and English but for some reason I thought English was still their main language, even to each other.
The second flight went well. It was a double-decker plane. Easily the biggest I’ve ever been on. I finished Black Swan (which was fantastic!) and they served us dinner. I met up with another CMU student, Alyssa, at the Paris airport. When Alyssa and I got to baggage claim, we were glad to see that our luggage had made it. We soon met another Palazzi student from Memphis University, her name is Carly.
The 3 of us found the girl with the "Palazzi" sign and got on the shuttle that took us to the orientation meeting at one of the school buildings. It took about 20 minutes from the airport to the university. We checked in and got our room keys. I got an apartment literally next door to most of the university buildings and the river. They also placed some of us CMU girls together! I’m with Lauren, Alex, and Natalie (who’s from Indiana State). Lauren and Natalie are in a room together and Alex and I are together. She is a fashion major and is taking a class on fashion here in fashionable Italy!
Ok Florence, is AMAZING. I honestly can’t even put it in words. All I can do is take pictures! All of us CMU people went out to eat once we dropped all our stuff off at our apartments. Our apartment has its own unique character and layout. It is decorated with some Ikea stuff along with traditional Italian stuff. Our apartment is definitely one of the coolest that I’ve seen. We have a balcony overlooking the Arno River! My roommates and I went down to the plaza--this big, open outside area--and there was a live band playing classical music. Typical Italy in my book! Then we went and unpacked, went to another orientation session in a new school building, which was more of a welcome party with dinner. I found a school computer lab in this same building, which is right across the street from my apartment! After the welcome party, my roommates and I went to the small market across the street really quick to buy a few staples. Even though the food boxes and such were marked in Italian, it wasn't hard to figure out what was milk, what was yogurt, what was cereal, etc. It still hasn’t hit any of us that we are in Italy! We’re just going through the motions and getting everything set up still. All of the buildings are super ornate and adorned. It’s so beautiful here! Tonight we've already met students from University of Southern Florida, University of Memphis, groups from New York and Long Beach as well. Anyway, tomorrow is going to be another big day, so I better get some sleep. Ciao!
Photos from my apartment!!!
The main room.
Other side of the room.
Stairs to the balcony.
View from balcony.
Bathroom. The washer is right there next to the sink.
Lauren and Natalie's room.
Our room. Alex has the far bed. The mattresses are on a really low frame, they're not on the ground. We found a bunch of bedding folded in the closets.
Our bedroom window. You can lean right out and look at the street!
The library from our window.
The main strip from our window.
Looking the other way down the street.
The hallway in our building.
The door to our apartment.
Another balcony pic. The trees are on the other side of the river.
Retro European lift to get to the 2nd floor where our apartment is. Natalie is on the left, Alex on the right.
The stairs up instead of the lift.
Entry into our building and mailboxes.
Door to the building from the street.
This UPS thing goes to show how small all the vehicles are!
Computer lab across the street that I mentioned.
So that is the door to our building as seen from down the street. As you can see, the door puts you right out on the street where there are 2 streets that make a T.
The door again!
Entry into one of the Palazzi school buildings, which is literally right next door. Our address is 19, this is 21. This is where we checked in and had orientation.
Amenities that came in my apartment:
I believe these basic items come in all of the apartments the Palazzi program uses.
Here's a few photos from other student apartments:
Alyssa and Katie's apartment.
These are the global phones we all got through the school.
Matt and Mark's apartment.