Emily Schmidt spent one month in Florence, Italy studying art history and Italian language. She attended two classes: Masters of the Renaissance and Elementary Italian, and she lived with a host family. Much of her art history class was held on location throughout the city and often led her outside Florence to places such as Vinci to see Leonardo da Vinci’s birthplace and Milano to experience his Last Supper. Her weekends were filled with excursions across northern Italy to Pisa, Lucca, Cinque Terre, Verona, Lake Garda, Siena, and of course, Venice. Much of her free time was spent engaging in cultural activities such as cheese tastings, Italian cooking classes, wine tastings, visiting world renowned museums and attending culturally enriching events such as a ballet, an orchestra concert, an opera and lectures and movie showings at the British Institute,. Emily took advantage of every opportunity to practice Italian. She discussed worldly topics in order to assess the global perspectives of many Italians. Through these culturally eye-opening discussions, Emily developed strong opinions on issues such as the different roles stereotyping plays and the status and responsibilities of women within differing societies. During her first experience abroad, Emily developed self-reliance and self-confidence. She was determined to engage in deep cultural observation to discover what it means to be Italian, as well as what is means to be American.