Post 1: Florence Pre-departure | It Doesn’t Feel Real!

Hi everyone! My name is Morgan and I will be studying abroad this summer in Florence. I don’t really know if I’m considered a freshman or a sophomore…. So I’ll just say I am a ~rising~ sophomore here at USF. I’m working on a bachelor of science in chemistry, however it took me two semesters to figure that out. I was originally a chemistry B.A., then I was biomedical sciences, and now we’re here! I’ve loved chemistry since the first time I took it in high school, but I didn’t realize it was what I wanted to do until senior year of high school when I took AP Chem. In Florence I’ll be taking Organic Chemistry 2 and The Florence Food and Culture Experience. My second class doesn’t start until the second half of the program, so I fully intend on spending as much time as I can exploring the city for the first 3 weeks.

Now you may be wondering, Morgan, what made you want to study abroad?

Well, I absolutely LOVE cheese. Cheesemaking. Cheese-mongering. I’m obsessed. I watched a video about a ton of types of cheese a little over a year ago, and since then, I have decided I want to become a Certified Cheese Professional (yes it is a real thing). I’ve read cheese books. I’ve driven hours to specialty cheese shops. I just can’t seem to get enough. So when I got my first email about this program, I decided I had to go to explore the cheese culture of Florence. In my posts, I want to share my love for this beautiful creation and hopefully teach others about the process of cheesemaking and cheese-mongering.

Now to the main reason for this post, I LEAVE FOR FLORENCE TOMORROW!

It seriously does not feel real at all. I’ve never travelled alone, left the U.S., or been away from home for more than a week. This whole experience is brand new to me and I’m nervous… and excited… nervcited. I started packing yesterday, I’m pretty much done. I had trouble figuring out how to fit everything into 2 smallish checked bags. I wanted to bring an empty suitcase but I have too much stuff, so I have 1.5 full suitcases. I can’t trust myself with a carry-on suitcase, so I’ll just be bringing a backpack in the plane cabin. That backpack is very, very full. When I have it on I look like a donkey ready to climb Everest. I’m going to miss my family, friends, and pets a TON, but I’m so excited to begin this journey.

I’ll update at the end of my first week (hopefully with some cheese recommendations)!



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