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CGE Storyteller: Cam Breeden | First Impressions of Italy as a Study Abroad Student

Cam Breeden | Spring 2024

Hey! My name is Cam Breeden, and I’m a sophomore here at the University of Tennessee majoring in journalism & media. I was born and raised in the town of Greeneville, Tennessee, which is a small place approximately an hour and a half east of Knoxville.

Today is Wednesday, January 31st, and I’ve now been in Italy for two days. I did experience some jet lag due to the long journey, but that quickly went away after the first night. Italy, specifically here in Florence, is the most beautiful part of the world that I have ever laid eyes on. The scenery here in the city is what first caught my attention, and I can assure you that the pictures simply don’t do it justice. My apartment is great, and most people that I’ve spoken with since being here say the same about their apartments. Everyone that I have met thus far seem to be really great people, both fellow students and locals. I’m still honestly taking it all in, living in a city as big as this one having been born and raised in a small East Tennessee town, it’s requiring some major adjustments. 

Florence, Italy itself is full of numerous nice restaurants, and there’s no shortage of stores for those who like to shop. Getting around the city has proven to be pretty simple, but the addresses here take some getting used to. I’ve not had a chance to try the train system, but I intend to this weekend and will discuss that experience in my next blog.

Overall, my whole experience up to this point has felt like a dream. Italy is everything I hoped it would be and more, and I’m really looking forward to starting classes next week. We had a health and safety orientation this morning for Lorenzo de’ Medici students, and I met a lot of fellow students from all around the world. I will say that I have experienced some culture shock since arriving, but actually in a good way. Opening myself up to a new culture and a new part of the world, it has truly changed my perspective in the short time I’ve been here. I didn’t realize how big the world really is until I made it to Florence, having not done much traveling prior to this trip. I do miss my home in Tennessee and my family, but I expected that, and am getting along ok thanks to the friendliness of my seven roommates. That’s all I have to say for now, I’m already looking forward to writing my next blog and updating you all on what I’ve done. Ciao! 

More about UT in Florence at Lorenzo de Medici>

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