We’re in the home stretch with only 2 and a half weeks left for our Fall 2017 Undergrads! Below we hear from music students Elmira David, Laura Lynn Brickle, Bryan Johnson, and Madison Allen.
Elmira David, Goucher College
It’s kind of unreal how this semester program is almost over. In the past 2 months, the music students have traveled so much to so many different places. A lot of the trips were a part of the program, but we also got the chance to plan our own travels. It has been rare for me to spend a whole weekend in Arezzo as we had many day study trips, long weekends, or longer school trips to other cities in Italy. Being able to look back and see how many places we got to visit, how many concerts and shows we got to attend, and how many church visits we got to do in such a short amount of time makes me realize how special this program is to me. I absolutely love and enjoy traveling, and one thing I know for sure is that Arezzo is definitely one of my favorite places. Every single time I get out of the train station here, I know that I’m home. Now that we have less than 3 weeks left at the academia, the list of things that I’ll miss only gets longer. To name a few, I will miss having Italian class with Silvia and the theatre students, going to Monica’s office all the time, having movement classes with Dory, and of course, eating at the mensa. However, what I’ll miss even more than the incredible food at the mensa is talking to the mensa staff after each meal we have!
Laura Lynn Brickle, Furman University
Reasons to be Thankful
This semester has flown by in a whirlwind. Not too long ago I had just set foot in Italy for the first time and was admittedly somewhat scared and nervous of the semester to come. My fears were quickly dissipated by the delicious food of the Mensa, the friendly greetings from teachers and the people who make the Accademia tick, and the people along this journey who have become like a family to me. I never imagined growing up that I would get to travel extensively… let alone to my top two destinations in one year; Italy and Ireland. This semester has had its share of hardships and trials but it has been some of the most fulfilling three months of my life. As I reflect on my time spent here, I can start to see the growth I’ve had as a musician and more importantly, as a person. I have each and every person at the ADA to thank for that. From the people who were there for me needed something as simple as laundry money, a laugh, or a hug in times of hardship. Arezzo will always be a home away from home and the memories I have made during my time here will always be ingrained in me. I plan to make the most out of my last two weeks here and hopefully to return to my beautiful home Arezzo again in the future.
With the end of this program quickly approaching, I feel a small twinge of anxiety starting to build in the pit of my stomach. I start thinking of all the assignments I have to finish, gifts and souvenirs I want to buy, and places I still desperately want to visit. With everything whirling around me and trying to squeeze in studying, writing, and traveling in these last two weeks, it’s beginning to feel a bit overwhelming. The thing that’s helped me most these last few days is simply reflecting on everything I’ve already done and accomplished since being here. I think back to the first day we walked to the Arezzo city center, took our first train ride to Florence, and planned our group trips to Cinque Terre and Rome and how excited I was in every moment. I also think back to how in the midst of all this traveling I still had assignments to do, music to learn, and tests to study for, everything seemed to turn out alright in the end. This puts me at ease with things coming at me all at the same time.
When the program ends, I undoubtedly know that I will miss being a part of this community and the Italian culture and lifestyle I have become accustomed to in the past three months. However, I’ve never been so excited to return home to see my friends and family. With this being my first time traveling outside of the states, I know I will return home with new perspectives and changed attitudes. Even though I may not have time to check everything off my bucket list before I leave, at the very least the memories of this place will last a lifetime and give me more than enough reasons to come back in the future.