Olivia Mundy studied in Florence, Italy under the Heinz Programming Area: Arts & Culture. She lived in Piazza Del Mercato Centrale, in an apartment with 6 women, and took Beginner’s Italian at the Lorenzo de Medici School. While in Italy Olivia also travelled to Cinque Terre, Venice, Verona, Siena, Volterra, Capri, and Rome, observing and learning about the history and culture of each place. While in Florence she was able to observe many pieces of artwork that would further her knowledge in art history, and help her on her goal to becoming an Art Historian. Early in her trip Olivia met an Italian girl and two Albanian boys whom she frequently spent time with. Olivia was able to practice her Italian whenever she went out with them, as only the girl spoke English. It was during this time that Olivia really experienced the struggle of living in a foreign country. When she came to Italy, Olivia naively assumed everyone she came into contact with would speak English. However, this was clearly not the case. She observed and watched these people whenever the talked and tried to join in the conversation when she was able. It was challenging to interact with young people, when the language of Italian was only so new to her. However, she really enjoyed being able to hang out with people in Italy that were not American students, and to practice her Italian outside of the classroom.
CEE Title: Opening Communication Between International Students and American Students at UPJ