20 Things You Only Understand If You Study Abroad In Italy


I am spending my freshman year of college in Florence, Italy. I’m so excited as I’m adjusting to life in Italy! It’s been quite the adventure already, and I can’t wait for the next nine months here. There are so many unique aspects to the lifestyle and culture here. Keep reading for 20 things you only understand if you study abroad in Italy!

1. You drink a cappuccino every day.

Cappuccinos here only cost a euro, and they get you going in the morning. The U.S. needs to up their latte art game.

2. You don’t think twice about getting gelato.

Gelato after school and gelato after dinner. You don’t feel as bad because you’re walking it off every day!

3. You take advantage of the drinking age.

Yes, the drinking age is 18 here. It’s nice to be able to drink a glass of wine or beer during dinner and go to a bar at night.

4. You have to weave yourself through a sea of tourists in order to get to class.

When you study abroad in Italy, you’ll notice tourists are everywhere. You probably find yourself frustrated trying to get to class and being swarmed by them.

5. You can eat a pizza all by yourself.

Pizzas in Italy are so much fresher here, so it’s easy to eat a 16” pizza alone. They don’t slice the pizzas here, so you have to get creative when eating it!

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6. Instead of fearing carbs you embrace them.

Eating pasta several times a week is a norm. Yes, they’re a lot of carbs, but they’re worth it.

7. You have your favorite study places.

There are so many cafés in Italy, many of which are geared to students. You’ll plop yourself down at one and stay there the entire day.

8. You have mosquito bites everywhere.

You can’t avoid mosquitos in Italy. The bites are terrible itchy and obnoxious, but there’s not much you can do about it.

9. Dressing is a constant struggle.

Italians dress more formally than Americans on a daily basis. It’s rare to see people wearing sweatpants, T-Shirts, and flip flops while walking around.

10. You’re not using your phone as much.

Wifi isn’t as accessible here, so you’re not on your phone constantly. This is definitely a plus!

11. Your Instagram has never looked better.

Pictures of the Trevi Fountain, Oktoberfest, and the Duomo have created a record of likes on your Insta.

12. Your Snapchat story is on point.

You can’t capture a moment, but you can certainly try for your friends to see.

13. You’ve spent too many hours at the local clubs.

There are many clubs that draw American students to. You’ve experienced walking home from these clubs at too late of an hour.

14. You’ve traveled to other places in Italy and Europe.

Cinque Terre for the day, Rome for a weekend trip, Greece for fall break. The sky is the limit when you’re studying in Italy.

15. You know essential phrases in Italian.

When you study abroad in Italy, you’d be surprised how much Italian you can learn. You can order a cappuccino, gelato, and panini in Italian. What else is there to know?

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16. You walk at least three miles every day.

Walking has become your main mode of transportation. You learn to appreciate walking and where it takes you.

17. You stay up till midnight to call Mom and Dad.

The 6-hour time difference can be tricky at times, so you have to plan accordingly.

18. You buy postcards every week to send to friends and family.

There’s nothing like good old fashioned snail mail, especially when it’s international!

19. You learn how to cook.

Let’s face it, you can’t eat out every night. Most apartments are equipped with kitchens for you to use.

20. Every day you’re reminded how blessed you are to be having an abroad experience.

Living abroad is something not everyone gets to do. There are moments every day when you realize how beautiful the world is and how lucky you are to be able to explore it.
I highly recommend studying abroad during your college career.  Make the most of your experience if you study abroad in Italy. You learn more than you could imagine and immerse yourself into a different culture. I can’t wait to study abroad again my junior year in a different part of the world!

Are you planning to study abroad in Italy? Comment below and share the article!
Featured photo source: tumblr.com and foundtheworld.com


Emma Lemay

Emma LeMay is an avid journaler, aspiring world traveler, and loyal Earl Grey drinker. She plans on double majoring in public relations & advertising and minoring in journalism at Marist College.

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