Viterbo, Italy Spring 2013 Class Schedule & First Week

Viterbo, Italy — My second to last day of orientation is over! Over the past few days, I’ve been challenged and had tremendous successes (knock on wood.)

I picked up my new cell phone on Wednesday. It cost me 19 Euro, which was not a bad price. It costs me roughly 1.5 Euro/week to call and text anyone from my program since we’re all using Poste Mobile [Post-eh Mobil-eh], an Italian sim card company that also sells cell phones. Let me just say that readjusting to T9 technology and life without Google calendar at my fingertips was awkward.

I also grabbed at data stick for internet from the TIM company, who happens to sells routers as well. The data stick cost me 58 Euro and is good for 5GB of data every month for 3 months. Not too shabby.

Later that night, I went to what is referred to by USAC students as the Book Bar. Here USAC students feel comfortable around Manni, the english-speaking bartender. I tried some new beers such as Delirium, a Belgian golden ale. It was delicious.

On Thursday, my roommate, Mike and I woke up late for orientation (mainly due to our 4am bedtime and 9am orientation). While the main group was meeting at San Carlo campus of Tuscia University, we walked to the Santa Maria in Gradi campus. There we found the USAC office, closed because everyone was across the city and lots of Italian students. To get to the campus we needed to be at, we walked around the wall and through the city. Him and I learned more about the town we will call home for the next four months than we would have if we actually caught up with the group on time.

I had my first Intermediate Italian class of the semester and that was tough. I have a new respect for students who come to the U.S. to study and learn English. Listening to everything being spoken in Italian is like running your head through a meat grinder because your brain is trying to process so much at once.  I can honestly say I have been in their shoes.

Friday we learned about the classes we might take this semester and had the opportunity to listen to all the professors give us their elevator pitch. None of my classes changed so I wasn’t convinced otherwise, but there were others who decided on classes such as Modern Italian History or Mediterranean Landscape and Environment, and more.
My class schedule for Spring 2013 looks like this:





Italian Conversation (10:10-11:00)

Travel Writing (9:00-11:30)

Italian Cuisine & the Mediterranean Diet (9:00-11:30)

Italian Conversation (10:10-11:00)

Intermediate Italian I (11:10-13:00)

Intermediate Italian (17:30-19:15)

Italian Garden in the Renaissance (17:45-19:30)

Intermediate Italian I (11:10-13:00)

There are no classes for me on Friday and my classes don’t even meet every week. Usually Friday is reserved for field trips. Over the next four months, I’ll be seeing: Rome (next Friday!); Cuisine at the Boscolo Academy on two differrent occasions; Villa Lante; the Tre Botti winery; Tivoli; Pienza; Florence; Bomarzo and Caprarola; Capalbio; Maramore Waterfalls and Piediluco Lake; and of course the Southern Italy field study for spring break.

All these trips are part of a class I’m enrolled in or a USAC sponsored trip. Not a bad gig, huh? One of my language classes ends in February and another one also meets for half the semester — that’s my kind of schedule.

USAC is taking us to Cività Di Bagnoregio, nicknamed the dying city. It looks a little something like this. The city was founded by Etruscans over 2500 years ago but has seen its population dwindle to just fifteen residents over the course of the 20th century. Cività was the birthplace of Saint Bonaventure, who died in 1274. However, the location of his boyhood house has long since fallen off the edge of the cliff.I’m very excited to take some really great pictures tomorrow. Barring any bad weather, I’ll come away with some great shots. Pictures will be up from this week on Sunday (hopefully).

So not a bad finale to our week-long orientation, right? I think not. Here’s to good times, good wine, and good people over the next four months!

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