Living Like a Local in Florence

When I decided to study abroad in Florence, I knew that I wanted to live with a host family. I had participated in a similar exchange program in high school, and though that experience was only a week-long, staying with a local family was one of the highlights of the trip. So, nerve-wracking as it may be, when applying to the program, I decided that it would be worth it to choose to live with a local Florentine family.

Flash forward to the final week of the spring semester, and I could not be happier with my choice. From having family dinners nearly every night to doing homework on a sunny terrace overlooking the city, there are countless things that I will remember fondly when it comes to my time living with a host family in Florence.

That being said, I still remember my very first day here, when the school’s driver dropped me off outside the apartment building. I could not have been more nervous! However, my worries were soon brushed away when I was welcomed by a warm, caring family who has been so happy to share their home and culture with me. Since then, I have gotten to know each family member individually and have enjoyed every moment spent with them.

If I could recommend one thing to anyone thinking about studying abroad, it would be to live with a host family. Fabulous pasta dishes aside, some of my favorite memories from being in Florence this spring are time spent with my host parents and siblings (and their adorable cat, who I already know I will have a hard time saying goodbye to.) Though I’m not always able to keep up with the rapid-fire Italian spoken around the house, they have made me feel at home in a foreign place, and that’s something I will always be grateful for.

Mallory Carlson
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