Select Study Abroad & ADPi: Visiting the Ronald McDonald House in Florence

RMHC_Firenze_2014_27Last Tuesday we made a special visit to the Ronald McDonald House here in Florence, Alpha Delta Pi’s philanthropic partner since 1979. The house, just over one year old, is the most recent addition to the Italian case Ronald, including two in Rome, one in Brescia, and one in Puglia, inaugurated between 2007 and 2013. When we talked about how we could be of assistance to this particular house, we thought, seeing as we’re in Florence–a name which originates from a latin word meaning “flowering”–a garden just seemed like the right choice. So we came to give the house a little life, leave our mark, and spread some ADPi love across an ocean. It turned into an all day affiar, which, in 95-degree weather, included a little water fight and lots of sunscreen. In the end, we were able to plant a variety of new plants, including some very special flowers under the house’s olive tree called “Bocca de Leone,” which means “Mouth of the Lion” in honor of Alpha Delta Pi’s mascot Alphie the lion. The final touch, perhaps my favorite part, was a series of garden markers made from corks that have inspirational and positive words in both English and Italian. Walking through the garden we left, we will literally lift spirits (and perhaps teach someone a little English!). Speranza. Hope. Continue reading…

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Select Study Abroad & ADPi: Week one in Florence!

It has officially been one week since these amazing ADPi sisters arrived and we have done…well…a lot. We took one week and packed in two weeks worth of activities. It makes us infinitely happy to say that all our students went to their first day of class having already wandered vineyards in Tuscany, posed with leaning tower in Pisa, ridden bikes in Lucca, made some new friends, hiked to Piazzale Michelangelo and the church of San Minato al Monte, climbed the dome of Florence’s cathedral AND the campanile (bell tower), photo bombed an engagement, eaten gelato at least twice (in most cases three or four times), tasted real Italian pasta, enjoyed some authentic Italian hospitality and even (we think) got some sleep. A better first week there has never (ever) been. Proof featured below:
Tuscany_pisa_2014_03 Continue reading…

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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.
Continue reading…

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Blog Updates: Best Food in Florence!

It has been entirely too long since I updated our Best Food in Florence post. Frankly, I’m embarrassed. It’s one of more useful blogs we have, if I do say so myself, including tips, hints, and all the necessities before we even get to the food. Writing about the food is always my favorite part and usually involves me leaving immediately afterwards to revisit one of our favorite spots. This new version has some new favorites along with the classics we still love. Really, you can’t go wrong with this list, whatever your price point and for however long you’re staying. I eat at pretty much all of these on a rather regular rotation and have for years! They continuously impress, so I hope you feel the same!

The Best Food in Florence
burrata

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Guest Blogger: How to talk to your parents about studying abroad with Select Study Abroad

RachaelWe are thrilled to share our latest guest blog from Rachael, a stellar Select Study Abroad alum and Alpha Delta Pi sister who will be graduating from Quinnipiac University this spring. This wise senior wanted to share her tips on how to approach your parents about studying abroad. It is a big decision, an important investment, and an experience that you will never forget. So, take note and follow her sisterly advice!
 
Your parents constantly worry about your safety and wellbeing so imagine when you are 3,000 miles away from home. Back packing through Europe isn’t something that thrills many parents, but what about studying abroad? If they’re still nervous here is a way to help you find a destination that gives you a home-away-from-home vibe without freaking your parents out. Continue reading…

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