By laura Phillips
Being here neither as a tourist or short-term student is odd. It’s not like I can’t travel, but my priorities are different than many of my fellow students. Most of them are here for a little study and lots of fun. Falling in love with the idea of Italy is easy; the image we see in movies, the large villa set in a sun-drenched sleepy village, the shopping in local stores and leaving with freshly-baked bread as you walk down a narrow street saying “buon giorno” to your neighbors. The reality is, just like everywhere else, you get up, go to work or school, shop in a big store and fight your way through the crowds—and many times feel like an outsider looking in. I do not have that I-am-here-on-vacation feeling. It’s mostly living here day to day and trying to find ways to feel more a part of where I’m living because I know I’m going to be here a while. It’s not a bad feeling, just different than coming here for a short time or vacation.