Our new program video is here!

We look forward to it every year. We get together (with lots of tissues) and we cull through the endless footage from the summer (and all the summers before). There’s laughter. There’s crying. There’s the ooh and the awww and then finally, there’s the perfect expression of how much the trip means to so many wonderful and amazing women. Its all the feels all the time. Enjoy.
 

 

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Select Study Abroad June 2015: Week 3 (arts & crafts, Uffizi, cooking, gardening, and…eating!)

Week 3 baby! We took advantage of a gloomy monday to be inspired by all the gorgeous masks and art we saw in Venice and made some fun arts and crafts to take home. We got over to the Uffizi galleries, a must-see in Florence, no question. Michelangelo and Botticelli did not disappoint. Then we dropped in on some of our cooks-in-traing during their awesome cooking class in the Mercato Centrale in San Lorenzo. They are basically professional and made some of the most beautiful cannolis we have ever seen. Then our Alpha Phi ladies hit up Orto Dipinti again (a community run and managed garden in the center of Florence) where we watered and pruned and painted the homemade flowerbeds to help extend their lives. No week is complete of course without some epic eating. This week we took our ladies to one of our all-time favorites, Cesarino. A hidden gem. We took over the entire outside patio. What a blast.
Arts & Crafts Day
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The Best Pastries in Florence!

best_pastriesAs a follow-up to our recently renovated Best Food in Florence blog, we are bringing you a new food-themed “Best Of”: the best breakfast pastries in Florence!
So you think something covered in sugar is always good, eh? Well, ok, it is. But we’re not satisfied with “good,” what we are searching for here is Greatness.
In fact, doing some research for this post, I stumbled across an adorable blog post by Tiana Kay called “ITALIAN CROISSANTS SUCK,” which I read with a chuckle because I know exactly what she means (and nothing puts a damper on a morning like a crap pastry!). Sadly, there are some pretty lame excuses for breakfast pastries out there (the pre-packaged, stale, hard, and defrosted varieties), but there are also really good ones! I promise. I have made it my life’s mission to find them, and I want to share them with you.
 
This post obviously required a lot of on-site research, with endless taste testing and re-taste-testing until we KNEW we had a solid list of locations.
No need to thank us.
This is what we do.
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Ten Things to Look Forward to When Studying Abroad in Italy!

ponte_vecchio_afternoon

I

flew back to Florence just a few days ago after the Holidays and saw gaggles of study abroad students meeting in the airport, catching flights and talking about their upcoming semester abroad. It made me feel super nostalgic. If I could go back and relive the first time I walked through the streets of Florence I would do it in a heartbeat. You just have SO MUCH to look forward to. It took me back and I spent my flight remembering my first few days, and weeks, and months in this amazing country. There were of course some difficult things to adjust to, but all I could remember were the amazing, life changing, beautiful things. That feeling of being in the most enchanted place on earth and doing my best to live every moment to the fullest while simultaneously pinching myself to ensure it was all real. Nothing quite captures that magical feeling.

While each of your experiences will be different, I hope each one is life changing, heart wrenching and beautiful too. So here are just 10 (it was quite hard to limit myself) of the amazing things that made me fall in love with my life in Italy. Hopefully they are some of yours too.
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Florence Fashion

Gucci_museumComing to Italy is a veritable fashion pilgrimage. While most people think of Milan as the fashion capitol of Italy, there are many important fashion houses that got their start right here in Florence. Guccio Gucci opened his fashion house in Florence in 1921, Salvatore Ferragamo in 1927, Roberto Cavalli was also a Florentine, as was Emilio Pucci. Understandably, we often have students who come to study fashion and textile design and we are always happy to oblige with various fashion-oriented activities. Clearly there is no shortage. Here are just a few that would satisfy any student of the art of moda and anyone looking for a slightly different angle in which to appreciate Florence as well as this countrywide passion.
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