It’s been exactly two weeks since I’ve moved to Venice for a ten week study abroad and in this blog I’m going to tell you about my first week.
Venice is beautiful. I came here ignorantly thinking that it was just a cliché tourist spot, but I was proven wrong the second that I stepped of the water bus. Dragging my completely overpacked suitcase, I set off to find my new accommodation. When the landlady met us and welcomed us into her home, we knew that we’ve been really luck with our flat. Not only was it well equipped, it was huge as well – perfect for dinner parties.
The following morning we had to meet at the university for 10am. Even though we were warned on multiple occasions that we were bound to get lost and had to set off early, we didn’t leave much time to get to the location and obviously got lost. Arriving 30 minutes late into the introductory talk, we basically missed the whole thing.
Afterwards we had our first Venetian coffee break in a cafe near the university. With no Italian skills whatsoever, I tried to order a sandwich and a green tea. The baristas seemed really annoyed at our lack of Italian and overall it wasn’t the most pleasant encounter. Straight away, I felt to go home and learn the basic phrases.
We spent the next couple of days exploring the city and having introductory lectures to our new modules. I actually had a change of heart and decided to switch from the Renaissance module to the Contemporary one that focuses on the architecture of exhibitions.
Venice is a small place, it’s easy to get lost because everywhere looks similar with the tiny alleyways and gelato shops. Having lived in London, I also thought that I could deal with crowds of people, but because the streets are so small, going somewhere when you’re in a rush can turn into a stressful experience.
Overall, I am delighted that I’m experiencing Venice with the loveliest people from my course. We’ve also had the chance to mingle with the History students that are studying the Renaissance, who all seem really interesting.
The first week mainly involved me eating a lot of scrumptious food (that I didn’t take a pictures of!) and exploring the city. Even the tomatoes that you buy in the supermarket taste divine. I’ve never had vegetables that oozed so much flavour.
It’s weird, I really struggled in the first week. I never ever get homesick because I’ve lived without my family in the country for two years now, but I think not having a routine or being able to recognise the surroundings in Venice knocked me off my balance a bit.
For a couple of days, I woke up with that horrible empty feeling in my stomach that I used to get when I was little and was missing my mum while she was away on work trips. I was just really missing my housemates, friends from home and most importantly my family.
Eventually though, with each day I felt less and less homesick. I only have ten weeks on this beautiful island, so I drilled it in my head that I have to make the most of this incredible opportunity.