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I chose the London & Florence program because it offered the unique opportunity of exploring two places and cultures in-depth and living two very different lifestyles over the course of a single semester. My time in London taught me to appreciate the inexhaustible excitement of England's capital – from navigating the Tube and exploring a myriad of museums and art galleries to examining how history, politics, architecture, and art have shaped the city's cultural identity. Sharing a London flat with fellow students and making my own meals provided an invigorating detachment from campus life and taught me the thrill of true independence. In the beautiful city of Florence, I was able to witness firsthand the artistic and historical legacy of the Italian Renaissance while wandering the cobblestone streets and taking trips to Siena, Rome, and Venice. I learned the intricacies of the Italian language from gelato vendors, fruit stands at the central market, and intimate conversations with my host family over homemade pasta and tiramisu. In a way that I could not have expected, these two experiences provided me with a deeper understanding of myself, the people and places around me, the value of the arts and engaged educational experiences, and the indescribable adventure of traveling, studying, and living abroad.
—Laura Linder-Scholer, London & Florence, Spring 2010
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