The Dickinsonian

Letter From Abroad: Broadening Horizons in Bologna

Jillian Clark ’19, Study Abroad Columnist

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Hi Dickinson,

I’m writing to you from an unusually gloomy Bologna, Italy. The past few weeks have been particularly beautiful so maybe I can blame my mind drifting into thoughts of Carlisle for the day’s drizzly weather. To begin with, it has been an incredible, challenging and enlightening experience to say the least (excuse me if I missed any other of the clichés).

My days are spent walking underneath porticos, drinking cappuccinos and occasionally studying for a class or two. I live on the busiest street in the city which has many shops and cafes. This is fantastic for accessibility but not for saving money. Although it is nice out now, when we first arrived, at the beginning of February, the weather was continually chilly.

Luckily, returning from spring break we found that the skies have cleared, and most days are sunny or at least partly cloudy. This makes it nice for those of us who use our breaks between or after classes to read on the nearby Piazza Majori or walk to the park.

One of my favorite parts so far has been how easy it is to travel around the continent. Want to be in Venice by sunset? One cheap train ticket and you’ll be there in less than three hours. Florence? Even speedier, making it in under two. Spring break consisted of six cities in fourteen days, a crazy but fun goal which left my traveling companions and I feeling both exhausted and accomplished. Although fresh tortellini is number one for sure (while most Italians love to tell us how much Americans eat, many Americans probably couldn’t make it through a full Italian meal without popping a few buttons in the process), having immediate access to so many different places and cultures definitely makes the list for things I’ll miss most once I’m gone.

While roaming around Europe and filling up on carbs is fun, I’m also here at an interesting political time. Bologna is an university town and with the Italian elections that took place in March it has been interesting to see the students react and organize as the headlines hand them new and (for some) more troubling news every day. Although I’m not able to understand every political disturbance, it’s easy to understand the apparently universal force of a country’s youth pushing for change.

Love from Italy,

Jillian Clark

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1 Comment

One Response to “Letter From Abroad: Broadening Horizons in Bologna”

  1. Martha Quay Laird on April 30th, 2018 12:23 am

    To article author Jillian Clark: Please check your spelling. It’s Piazza Maggiore, not Piazza Majori.

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Letter From Abroad: Broadening Horizons in Bologna