Arrivederci Siena…..For NowSiena, Fall 2011

Well, here is my attempt at summarizing the greatest experience of my life (I strongly apologize for the cliché, but it’s true).

During the second half of my semester in Siena, I became quite nostalgic with that beautiful city. I am so grateful that I spent most weekends in Siena rather than traveling every weekend. Don’t get me wrong, traveling is incredible, but I’ve always held the opinion that knowing and understanding one’s city is the most important aspect of studying abroad.

Before I left for Italy, I set a personal goal to truly connect with the Italian culture. I did not want to succumb to the all too common fate of many American study-abroaders who cling to other Americans during their time abroad. When I arrived to Italy, I realized that was easier said than done. The language barrier was quite large early on, especially in a small city like Siena, in which it seems that no one can or wants to speak English. However, that quickly changed when I met group of Italian students who go to the University of Siena. They turned out to be some of the kindest, sweetest, funniest, and friendliest people I have ever met.

So, this next part is for you: Giovanna, Annunziata, Andrea, Roberta, and Stefania: Grazie mille per tutti. Avete fatto la mia esperienza a Siena, la migliore possible. Siete i migliori amici che ho potuto chiedere di. Spero che vi vedrò di nuovo nel prossimo futuro. Ogni volta che sento singhiozzi ora, penso a voi. =) Rimaniamo in contatto!

My amazing Italian friends. (L to R) Roberta, Giovanna, myself, Stefania, and Annunziata.

This semester has made me reconsider my path to becoming an educator in the United States. Before, I had a very linear path towards that goal. Now, I think I’m going to take a detour from that road and hopefully move back to Italy to teach English. I have fallen so in love with the Italian culture that I have to go back again for an extended period of time. I’m currently researching history and political science graduate programs in Italy. So the next time I go, I’ll hopefully live in Italy for at least a full year. Plus, the one goal that I did not meet while abroad was marrying a beautiful Italian girl, so I have to go back.

And here are my top 10 favorite images from this semester (in no particular order).

Che bello!

San Galgano in Tuscany.

Cinque Terre was just plain beautiful.

This was an all too common site in Italy. One can only imagine what they must think of today's youth.

I think this image is a nice representation (although a bit stereotypical) of Italian fashion culture.

Sunrise over Lake Geneva.

This bevy of swans were vicious.

This couple totally caught me taking this photo.

Gstaad, Switzerland.

My friend, Roberto, walks along the beach in Cinque Terre.

If you would like to view more images from my semester in Italy, check out my website here: http://www.prokoschphotography.com/

Siena, thank you for making these past four months the best ones of my life. Ci vediamo presto.

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