Benvenuti al mio blog! Who I am and why I’m writing this…

I’ll admit right away that the start of this blog is roughly six months late but better late than never, and I’m glad to be writing my first entry! I arrived in Italy for my year abroad way back when at the end of September – which is also really quite scary to write as although I’ve had so many of experiences already (the majority of which I hope to share here) it feels like it’s been only a few months. It’s also my first attempt at blogging and whilst this is a great opportunity for me to document such a new and exciting year for me, I also hope that others will find some enjoyment and benefit from reading my entries! Whether you are also a student of Italian looking toward your own time in Italy, a fellow foreigner living abroad, an Italian enthusiast or you simply enjoy having a browse of the millions of blogs on the internet, welcome and thanks for having a read of mine!

As you will have gathered already, I’m a student of Italian currently half way through their year abroad in Italy. I’m 21 years old and in my third year of the four year course History and Italian at the University of Leeds back in the UK. Having history as my other academic interest means that I also aim to be dropping in some interesting historical elements I’ve learnt/hope to be learning over my time living and travelling in Italy. Prior to this year, I was given three options from Leeds Uni; enrol as a student at an Italian university as part of the Erasmus programme, find a work placement or work for the British Council as a teacher of English as a foreign language. I made my decision to go for the first option after thinking about what I really wanted to get out of my year aboard. It worked out that my top priorities were…

1. Improve my Italian language ability as much as possible 2. Travel and see different parts of the country in order to experience its diverse culture, history and art to the full 3. Keep up the momentum on my academic studies in preparation for my final year in the UK

…Having figured those out it seemed like enrolling at a university was the best option, particularly because teaching doesn’t really attract me and I wasn’t sure what career I wanted to follow after university which would have made a work placement the obvious choice.

So that was how I ended up packing up my room in Leeds and moving it over here at the end of summer, and also why I have this particular opportunity to write a blog on being a student in Italy! In the next few entires I’ll be sharing a bit about the northern Italian town of Ferrara where I’m living, my initial few weeks here settling in and getting to know the Italian university system and also my trip to Florence back in October.