When I boarded my plane a month ago to come to Italy, I didn’t know what to expect. I had never been abroad before, and I didn’t really know any of the people with whom I would be traveling. It was a little frightening, but I knew I had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in front of me, and I was ready to go. The past few weeks have been some of the most exciting of my life, just as I had hoped they would be. The JTI July students are an amazing group, and I was really lucky to get to spend a month abroad with them. OU has built an amazing program in Arezzo, largely because of the hard work of Kirk and Charlotte Duclaux, and I am very grateful for it. The monastery here is one of the best places I have ever seen, and living here has been so much fun. I have to confess that I didn’t think I would learn much here in just a month, at least academically. I was here for the experience of being abroad, living in a new culture. I was wrong. While I have learned a lot from living among the Italians, I also learned so much from my classes. Kirk’s art history class was a phenomenal experience. I have always loved art history, so I thought I would know most of our material, but at least once per lecture, Kirk would absolutely floor me with a new revelation. Similarly, Dr. Griswold’s class was far more enlightening than I expected. In two short weeks Dr. Griswold led us on a magnificent crash course of humanist ideology, and it’s something that I know will stay with me forever.

My phone camera is not the best, but here are a few of my favorite pictures from Italy:img_1418img_1492img_1618img_1546img_1593

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